Potential Value of Plasma Amyloid-β, Total tau and Neurofilament Light for Identification of Early Alzheimer’s Disease

ACS Chemical Neuroscience. 2019
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Shi Y, Lu X, Zhang L, Shu H, Gu L, Wang Z, Gao L, Zhu J, Zhang H, Zhou D and Zhang ZJ

ACS Chem Neurosci. 2019 May 30. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.9b00095. 

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the potential value of plasma indicators for identifying amnesic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and determine whether levels of plasma indicators are related to the performance of cognitive function and brain tissue volumes.

METHODS:

155 participants (68 aMCI patients and 87 health controls) were recruited in the present cross-sectional study. The levels of plasma amyloid-β (Aβ) 40, Aβ42, total tau (t-tau) and neurofilament light (NFL) were measured using an ultrasensitive quantitative method. Machine learning algorithms were performed for establishing optimal model of identifying aMCI.

RESULTS:

Compared with healthy controls, Aβ40 and Aβ42 levels were lower and NFL levels were higher in plasma of aMCI patients with an exception of t-tau levels. In aMCI patients, the higher plasma Aβ40 levels were correlated with the impaired episodic memory and a negative correlations were observed between plasma t-tau levels and global cognitive function and grey matter (GM) volume. In addition, the higher plasma NFL levels were correlated with reduced hippocampus volume and total GM volume of left inferior and middle temporal gyrus. An integrated model included clinical features, hippocampus volume and plasma Aβ42 and NFL, had the highest accuracy for detecting aMCI patients (accuracy: 74.2%).

CONCLUSIONS:

We demonstrated that plasma Aβ40, Aβ42, t-tau and NFL may be useful to identify aMCI and correlate with cognitive decline and brain atrophy. Among these plasma indicators, Aβ42 and NFL are more valuable as key members of a peripheral biomarker panel to detect aMCI.