Background: In previous studies, a dichotomous stratification of subjects into "cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) normal" and "CSF pathologic" was used to investigate the role of biomarkers in the prediction of progression to dementia in pre-dementia/mild cognitive impairment subjects. With the previously published Erlangen Score Algorithm, we suggested a division of CSF patterns into five groups, covering all possible CSF result combinations based on the presence of pathologic tau and/or amyloid-β CSF values.
Objective: This study aimed to validate the Erlangen Score diagnostic algorithm based on the results of biomarkers analyses obtained in different patients cohorts, with different pre-analytical protocols, and with different laboratory analytical platforms.
Methods: We evaluated the algorithm in two cohorts of pre-dementia subjects: the US-Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and the German Dementia Competence Network.
Results: In both cohorts, the Erlangen scores were strongly associated with progression to Alzheimer's disease. Neither the scores of the progressors nor the scores of the non-progressors differed significantly between the two projects, in spite of significant differences in the cohorts, laboratory methods, and the samples treatment.
Conclusions: Our findings confirm the utility of the Erlangen Score algorithm as a useful tool in the early neurochemical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; biomarkers; cerebrospinal fluid; clinical neurochemistry; results interpretation; validation.