Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease and geriatric depression: preliminary findings from Brazil

CNS Neurosci Ther. 2012 Jul;18(7):524-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2012.00311.x. Epub 2012 Apr 25.


Aims: Depression is a highly prevalent disorder in the elderly and one of the risk factors for developing dementia. The present study involves patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), geriatric major depressive disorder (MDD) and cognitively healthy controls aiming to compare baseline cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers.

Methods: The study included 52 patients with more than 60 years of age with a diagnosis of MDD, AD, and healthy controls. All individuals underwent a medical history, physical, and neurologic examination, laboratory tests and neuropsychological assessment to rule out any clinical diseases or disorders. Measurement of CSF P-tau(181) , T-tau, and Aβ42 was performed using commercial assays (ELISA).

Results: CSF Aβ42 levels of depressed patients and normal controls were significantly higher than in AD. There was not any significant difference in measures of P-tau among the groups. T-tau, however, showed to be significantly different among the groups, with higher measures in AD group. Higher levels of P-tau were observed in four MDD patients compared with controls.

Conclusion: CSF Aβ42, T-tau, and P-tau levels may differentiate between AD and depression in a Brazilian sample.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Single-Blind Method
  • tau Proteins / cerebrospinal fluid*


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers
  • tau Proteins