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Cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light and tau protein as mortality biomarkers in parkinsonism

Journal article
Authors Radu Constantinescu
Lage Rosengren
Barbro Eriksson
Kaj Blennow
Markus Axelsson
Published in Acta Neurologica Scandinavica
Volume 140
Issue 2
Pages 147-156
ISSN 0001-6314
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 147-156
Language - English
Subject categories Neurosciences


- Background: Mortality is increased in parkinsonian disorders, moderately in Parkinson's disease (PD) but markedly in atypical parkinsonian disorders (APD), including multiple system atrophy (MSA), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and corticobasal degeneration (CBD). Still, there are no reliable quantitative biomarkers for mortality. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neurodegeneration biomarkers such as neurofilament light chain (NF-L), total tau (t-tau), and the tau pathology marker phosphorylated tau (p-tau) are related to mortality in other neurological disorders (eg, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease), but have not been investigated in this respect in parkinsonian disorders. Aims: To investigate the CSF biomarkers' (NF-L, t-tau, and p-tau) relationship to mortality in parkinsonian disorders. Methods: Demographic, mortality, and CSF data were collected from 68 PD and 83 APD patients. Survival analysis was conducted using Cox regression, with age at lumbar puncture, gender, diagnosis, and levels of CSF biomarkers as predictors. Results: NF-L in CSF was associated with increased mortality in synucleinopathies (PD, MSA; HR 3.698 [2.196-6.228, 95% confidence interval (CI)], P < 0.001), in PSP (HR 2.767 [1.126-6.802 95% CI], P = 0.027), and in the entire cohort (HR 1.661 [1.082-2.55, 95% CI], P = 0.02). t-Tau in CSF was associated with increased mortality in PSP (HR 9.587 [1.143-80.418], P = 0.037). p-Tau in CSF was associated with decreased mortality in synucleinopathies (HR 0.196 [0.041-0.929, 95% CI], P = 0.040). Atypical parkinsonian disorders and tauopathies were associated with higher mortality (HR 8.798 [4.516-17.14, 95% CI] and HR 3.040 [1.904-4.854], respectively, P < 0.001). Conclusion: NF-L and tau protein in CSF might be useful for mortality prognosis in patients with parkinsonian disorders and should be investigated in larger studies. © 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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