Elevated Glutamate and Glutamine Levels in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of Patients With Probable Alzheimer's Disease and Depression

Front Psychiatry. 2018 Nov 6;9:561. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00561. eCollection 2018.


Recent evidence suggests that Alzheimer's disease (AD) and depression share common mechanisms of pathogenesis. In particular, deregulation of glutamate-mediated excitatory signaling may play a role in brain dysfunction in both AD and depression. We have investigated levels of glutamate and its precursor glutamine in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with a diagnosis of probable AD or major depression compared to healthy controls and patients with hydrocephalus. Patients with probable AD or major depression showed significantly increased CSF levels of glutamate and glutamine compared to healthy controls or hydrocephalus patients. Furthermore, CSF glutamate and glutamine levels were inversely correlated to the amyloid tau index, a biomarker for AD. Results suggest that glutamate and glutamine should be further explored as potential CSF biomarkers for AD and depression.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; cerebrospinal fluid; depression; glutamate; glutamine; innotest amyloid tau index.