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Cerebrospinal fluid and plasma biomarker trajectories with increasing amyloid deposition in Alzheimer's disease

Journal article
Authors S. Palmqvist
P. S. Insel
E. Stomrud
S. Janelidze
Henrik Zetterberg
B. Brix
U. Eichenlaub
J. L. Dage
X. Y. Chai
Kaj Blennow
N. Mattsson
O. Hansson
Published in Embo Molecular Medicine
Volume 11
Issue 12
ISSN 1757-4676
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Language en
Keywords Alzheimer disease, amyloid positron emission tomography, cerebrospinal, fluid biomarkers, plasma biomarkers, neurofilament light, cognitive decline, beta, tau, neurodegeneration, neurogranin, markers, protein, trial, Research & Experimental Medicine
Subject categories Neurochemistry


Failures in Alzheimer's disease (AD) drug trials highlight the need to further explore disease mechanisms and alterations of biomarkers during the development of AD. Using cross-sectional data from 377 participants in the BioFINDER study, we examined seven cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and six plasma biomarkers in relation to beta-amyloid (A beta) PET uptake to understand their evolution during AD. In CSF, A beta 42 changed first, closely followed by A beta 42/A beta 40, phosphorylated-tau (P-tau), and total-tau (T-tau). CSF neurogranin, YKL-40, and neurofilament light increased after the point of A beta PET positivity. The findings were replicated using A beta 42, A beta 40, P-tau, and T-tau assays from five different manufacturers. Changes were seen approximately simultaneously for CSF and plasma biomarkers. Overall, plasma biomarkers had smaller dynamic ranges, except for CSF and plasma P-tau which were similar. In conclusion, using state-of-the-art biomarkers, we identified the first changes in A beta, closely followed by soluble tau. Only after A beta PET became abnormal, biomarkers of neuroinflammation, synaptic dysfunction, and neurodegeneration were altered. These findings lend in vivo support of the amyloid cascade hypotheses in humans.

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