Neurochemical biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease and related disorders

Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2012 Nov;5(6):335-48. doi: 10.1177/1756285612455367.


Neurochemical biomarkers for diagnosing dementias are currently under intensive investigation and the field is rapidly expanding. The main protagonists and the best defined among them are cerebrospinal fluid levels of Aβ42, tau and its phosphorylated forms (p-tau). In addition, novel cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers are emerging and their multiparametric assessment seems most promising for increasing the accuracy in neurochemical dementia diagnostics. The combined assessment of Aβ42 and p-tau has recently shown value for diagnosing prodromal states of Alzheimer's dementia, that is, mild cognitive impairment. Disease-specific biomarkers for other degenerative dementias are still missing, but some progress has recently been made. As lumbar puncture is an additional burden for the patient, blood-based neurochemical biomarkers are definitely warranted and promising new discoveries have been made in this direction. These diagnostic developments have implicit therapeutic consequences and give rise to new requirements for future neurochemical dementia diagnostics.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; biomarker; blood; cerebrospinal fluid; dementia.