Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 116, Issue 9, pp 1163–1167 | Cite as

Neurochemical dementia diagnostics: a simple algorithm for interpretation of the CSF biomarkers

  • Piotr Lewczuk
  • Rüdiger Zimmermann
  • Jens Wiltfang
  • Johannes Kornhuber
Dementias - Original Article


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-based neurochemical dementia diagnostics (NDD) is a well-established diagnostic tool for neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the direct comparison of the concentrations of the biomarkers between laboratories is often very misleading, due to relatively high inter-laboratory discrepancies of normal/abnormal ranges (cutoff values). Therefore, an interpretation tool might be useful for centers performing NDD to facilitate a standardized, diagnostic-oriented reporting of the data on biomarkers. In this study, we present a simple, easy-to-implement algorithm allowing diagnostic-relevant categorization of patients according to the outcome of the CSF NDD results and, correspondingly, enabling reporting of the data to clinicians in a clear and easy-to-follow form. The algorithm is flexible and cutoff values independent, meaning each laboratory can easily supplement it with the cutoff values and normal/abnormal ranges according to the needs; the only prerequisite is to perform the standard CSF NDD assays (amyloid β peptides and Tau/pTau).


Alzheimer’s disease Neurodegeneration Cerebrospinal fluid Interpretation algorithm Biomarkers 



We thank all the technical coworkers of the Laboratory for Clinical Neurochemistry and Neurochemical Dementia Diagnostics at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Erlangen, for years of performing NDD analysis with excellent quality. A part of this work was presented at the 9th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases, Prague, 2009. PL and RZ are supported by Fond für Forschung und Lehre am Klinikum Erlangen (ELAN; grant No.: PL is a consultant of Innogenetics.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piotr Lewczuk
    • 1
  • Rüdiger Zimmermann
    • 1
  • Jens Wiltfang
    • 2
  • Johannes Kornhuber
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversitätsklinikum ErlangenErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany

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