Increasing the reproducibility of fluid biomarker studies in neurodegenerative studies

Nat Commun. 2020 Dec 7;11(1):6252. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19957-6.


Biomarkers have revolutionized scientific research on neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer's disease, transformed drug trial design, and are also increasingly improving patient management in clinical practice. A few key cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers have been robustly associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Several novel biomarkers are very promising, especially blood-based markers. However, many biomarker findings have had low reproducibility despite initial promising results. In this perspective, we identify possible sources for low reproducibility of studies on fluid biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, with a focus on Alzheimer's disease. We suggest guidelines for researchers and journal editors, with the aim to improve reproducibility of findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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*
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / blood*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / diagnosis
  • Peptide Fragments / blood
  • Peptide Fragments / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • tau Proteins / blood
  • tau Proteins / cerebrospinal fluid


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-40)
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)
  • tau Proteins