Glial fibrillary acidic protein as a marker of astrocytic activation in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

J Clin Neurosci. 2016 Apr;26:75-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2015.10.008. Epub 2015 Nov 18.


Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) has been shown to be increased in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients suffering from neurological diseases involving the activation of astrocytes, but has not been studied in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients to our knowledge. CSF samples of patients with definite ALS and of those with other neurological diseases were evaluated for their GFAP concentrations. CSF-GFAP concentrations of patients with ALS were significantly elevated by 53% compared to patients with other neurologic diseases. GFAP might serve as a biomarker in ALS. Our findings support the concept that astrocytes play a role in ALS pathogenesis.

Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Astrocytes; Biomarker; GFAP; Motor neuron disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / metabolism*
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Female
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein