Background: The microtubule-associated tau protein is the defining denominator of a group of neurodegenerative diseases termed tauopathies.
Objective: Provide a timely state of the art review on recent scientific advances in the field of tauopathies.
Material and methods: Systematic review of the literature from the past 10 years.
Results: Tau proteins are increasingly being recognized as a highly variable protein, underlying and defining a spectrum of molecularly defined diseases, with a clinical spectrum ranging from dementia to hypokinetic movement disorders. Genetic variation at the tau locus can trigger disease or modify disease risk. Tau protein alterations can damage nerve cells and propagate pathologies through the brain. Thus, tau proteins may serve both as a serological and imaging biomarker. Tau proteins also provide a broad spectrum of rational therapeutic interventions to prevent disease progression. This knowledge has led to modern clinical trials.
Conclusion: The field of tauopathies is in a state of dynamic and rapid progress, requiring close interdisciplinary collaboration.
Keywords: Biomarker; Causal therapy; Corticobasal degeneration; Microtubule-associated tau protein; Progressive supranuclear palsy.