Neurofilament light chain in the assessment of patients with multiple sclerosis

Arquivos de neuro-psiquiatria
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Domingues RB, Fernandes GBP, Leite F and Senne C

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2019 Jul 15;77(6):436-441. doi: 10.1590/0004-282X20190060.

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune, inflammatory, and degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Axonal degeneration is triggered by inflammation and is the pathological substrate of progressive disability in patients with MS. Therapeutic interventions can reduce inflammatory activity, thus delaying neurodegeneration and the progression of disability. Disease activity and neurodegeneration are assessed mainly through clinical evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging. These measures lack sensitivity and accuracy, so new biomarkers are necessary. Several markers have been studied and to date the most promising is neurofilament light (NfL), a component of the axonal cytoskeleton, which is released into cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) following axonal damage. In the present study, we review the current knowledge about CSF NfL determination in MS, clinically isolated syndrome, and radiologically isolated syndrome, and critically discuss how CSF NfL measurement may contribute to therapeutic decision-making in these patients.