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J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;34(3):673-9. doi: 10.3233/JAD-121384.

Cerebrospinal fluid levels of heart fatty acid binding protein are elevated prodromally in Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.

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Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden.


Heart fatty acid binding protein (HFABP) is expressed in the brain and is elevated in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with several forms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease with dementia, Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia (VaD), and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. However, whether HFABP in CSF is a stable biomarker or if it can help predict conversion from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to AD or VaD has not been well studied. To address the role of HFABP in neurodegeneration, we analyzed CSF levels of HFABP in 96 AD patients and 65 controls and also in 170 patients with MCI with an average follow up time of 5.7 years. For the stability analysis, two CSF samples were collected from 52 AD patients with a six month interval in between. HFABP levels in CSF were very stable over the six month period (r = 0.93, p < 0.001). Furthermore, the CSF levels of HFABP were significantly elevated in AD compared with controls after adjustments for age and gender (p < 0.001). They were also elevated in the patients with MCI that subsequently converted to AD or VaD compared with those that remained stable (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05, respectively). However, ROC curve analysis showed that HFABP had lesser predictive value in determining conversion from MCI to AD and VaD than Aβ42, t-tau, and p-tau. In conclusion, HFABP seems to be a stable CSF biomarker that reflects neuronal cell death in several neurodegenerative disorders, including early stages of AD and VaD.

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