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Exp Neurol. 2000 Nov;166(1):201-3.

CSF phosphorylated tau protein and mild cognitive impairment: a prospective study.

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Department of Geriatric Medicine, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8574, Japan.


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau protein phosphorylated at both Thr231 and Ser235 sites (CSF/phospho-tau(231-235)) and total tau (CSF/total-tau) were quantified by sandwich ELISA in 20 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who eventually developed AD on follow-up as well as seven memory complainers with no objective memory loss. 13/20 (65%) of the MCI patients had high CSF/total-tau and detectable levels of CSF/phospho-tau(231-235), whereas these markers were low and under a detectable level in all of the memory complainers. Although either a total-tau, phospho-tau measurement or a combination of these can help in predicting if MCI will develop AD, our results suggest that the pathogenic steps of AD may be at the stage that finally leads to an accumulation of abnormally phosphorylated tau and neuron death, at least in some brain areas, when MCI patients present with the earliest detectable clinical symptoms of dementia.

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