Serum Neurofilament Light Is Increased In Multiple System Atrophy Of Cerebellar Type And In Repeat-expansion Spinocerebellar Ataxias: A Pilot Study
JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY
Carlo Wilke, Friedemann Bender, Stefanie N. Hayer, Kathrin Brockmann, Ludger Schöls, Jens Kuhle, Matthis Synofzik
Journal of Neurology
Blood biomarkers in degenerative ataxias are still largely missing. Here, we aimed to provide piloting proof-of-concept that serumNeurofilament light (NfL) could offer a promising peripheral blood biomarker in degenerative ataxias. Specifically, as a marker of neuronal damage, NfL might (1) help to differentiate multiple system atrophy of cerebellar type (MSA-C) from sporadic adult-onset ataxia (SAOA), and (2) show increases in repeat-expansion spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) which might be amenable to treatment in the future. To explore these two hypotheses, we measured serum NfL levels by single-molecule array (Simoa) technique in 115 subjects, comprising patients with MSA-C (n = 25), SAOA (n = 25), the most frequent repeat-expansion SCAs (SCA 1, 2, 3 and 6) (n = 20), and age-matched controls (n = 45). Compared to controls, NfL was significantly increased in MSA-C, with levels significantly higher than in SAOA (AUC = 0.74 (0.59-0.89), mean and 95% confidence interval, p = .004). NfL was also significantly increased in SCA patients as compared to controls (AUC = 0.91 (0.81-1.00), p < .001), including NfL increases in SCA1 and SCA3. These findings provide first proof-of-concept that NfL might provide a promising peripheral biomarker in degenerative ataxias, e.g. supporting the differentiation of MSA-C from SAOA, and indicating neuronal damage in repeat-expansion SCAs.
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