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J Infect Dis. 2007 Jun 15;195(12):1774-8. Epub 2007 May 2.

Elevated cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light protein concentrations predict the development of AIDS dementia complex.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, The Sahlgrenska Academy at Goteborg University, Goteborg, SE-416 85, Sweden, and Department of Neurology, St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


The light subunit of neurofilament protein (NFL) is a sensitive indicator of central nervous system axonal injury. We retrospectively identified 9 subjects participating in a longitudinal cohort study who developed acquired immunodeficiency syndrome dementia complex (ADC) and who had had a lumbar puncture performed within 2 years before presentation. Elevated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) NFL concentrations were found in 7 (78%) of the 9 case patients who later developed ADC, compared with 9 (33%) of 27 CD4 cell count-matched HIV-1-infected control subjects. By contrast, no differences were found in CSF HIV-1 RNA or neopterin concentrations between the 2 groups. CSF NFL may prove to be a useful predictive marker for ADC.

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