, Volume 110, Issue 10, pp 1149-1160

CSF-tau, CSF-Aß1-42, ApoE-genotype and clinical parameters in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease: combination of CSF-tau and MMSE yields highest sensitivity and specificity

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Summary.

This study evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of tau-protein, amyloid-ß-peptide 1-42 (Aß1-42), ApoE-genotype and the degree of cognitive decline as diagnostic markers for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Data was obtained from 105 AD patients and 68 controls.

Median CSF-tau levels were increased (512 pg/ml vs. 145 pg/ml, p<0.001) and Aß1-42-levels were decreased (238.5 pg/ml vs. 310 pg/ml, p<0.001) in AD patients compared to controls. A weak correlation was found between CSF-Aß1-42 and MMSE score (r=.245). Within all subjects, a correlation of CSF-Aß1-42 (r=−.337) and CSF-tau (r=.384) with age was found. The combination of CSF-tau levels and MMSE revealed the highest sensitivity (92%) and specificity (87%).

In summary, CSF-tau was a useful biological marker to discriminate AD from normal aging, neurological and psychiatric disorders. CSF-Aß1-42 showed no additional benefit in discriminating patients from controls but might be useful for tracking the severity of the disease.

Received January 20, 2003; accepted April 29, 2003 Published online July 30, 2003