Biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease: the present and the future

Rev Neurol (Paris). 2013 Oct;169(10):719-23. doi: 10.1016/j.neurol.2013.07.012. Epub 2013 Sep 7.


A paradigm shift has occurred in the last ten years in the diagnostic field of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Scientific thought has enriched the concept of AD as a pathophysiological continuum and emphasized contribution of biological, morphological and functional brain imaging biomarkers for diagnosis, in particular during the early stages of the disease. We address here the present and the future of these biological biomarkers. Most of them are linked to the pathophysiological lesions of the Alzheimer process: aggregates of hyperphosphorylated tau proteins, also called neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), and extracellular deposit of amyloid-beta peptides (Aβ), also called senile plaques. The detection in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of tau and Aβ represents the current diagnostic practice of AD. Improvement for a more accurate and earlier biological diagnosis is however expected using a new generation of biomarkers, mostly in relation with tau and Aβ metabolism.

Keywords: Alzheimer; Alzheimer's disease; Biomarkers; Biomarqueurs; Diagnosis; Diagnostic; Peptides amyloïdes; Protéine Tau; Tau protein; β-amyloid peptides.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / blood
  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / blood
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Biomarkers* / blood
  • Biomarkers* / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Neurological / trends*
  • Humans
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / metabolism
  • tau Proteins / blood
  • tau Proteins / cerebrospinal fluid


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers
  • tau Proteins