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Rev Neurol (Paris). 2011 Jun-Jul;167(6-7):474-84. doi: 10.1016/j.neurol.2010.10.007. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

[Use of CSF biomarkers in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in clinical practice].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de Neurologie et Neuropsychologie, AP-HM, Hôpital de la Timone, 264 rue Saint-Pierre, 13385 Marseille cedex 5, France.



The diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) currently relies on clinical criteria that are primarily based on the presence of an amnestic syndrome of the mesial temporal lobe type. In recent years, new diagnostic tools have been developed, such as the possibility of measuring a set of proteins directly involved in the pathophysiological process of AD. A profile suggestive of AD has been defined, characterized by decreased beta-amyloid peptide, combined with increased Tau protein and phopho-Tau.


According to current data available in the medical literature, the potential usefulness of CSF biomarkers in the common forms of AD fulfilling usual clinical criteria remains modest. In contrast however, they could be of significant help in the diagnosis of early-onset AD, in particular in atypical forms with prominent non-memory impairment (involving vision, language or behavior). In addition, due to their close relationship with the pathological process, they bring useful prognosis information upon the aggressiveness of the disease.


Taken together, in the current state of knowledge, use of CSF biomarkers in clinical practice should first be recommended for the assessment of early-onset cognitive disturbances, in particular when initial symptoms are of a non-memory type. Their development, however, offers new avenues in the fields of clinical and pharmacological research.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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