Using CSF biological markers for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and is histologically characterized by the accumulation of extracellular amyloid plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles throughout the brain.

The major constituents of amyloid plaques are the β-amyloid peptides consisting of 40 and 42 amino acids (Aβ1-42 and Aβ1-40), which are derived from the amyloid precursor protein. Neurofibrillary tangles are made up of paired helical filaments consisting of hyperphosphorylated tau protein (P-tau). Tau protein itself is an intracellular protein that is released upon neuronal death.

The combination of decreased concentrations of Aβ1-42 (or Aβ1-42/Aβ1-40 ratio) and increased concentrations of total tau and P-tau in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are considered to be neurochemically compatible with Alzheimer’s disease1.

These biological markers can be used in clinical routine to discriminate Alzheimer’s disease from normal aging2, other neurological diseases and other types of dementia (non-AD). Interpretation of the results, however, should always be done in combination with other clinical information.

Download our whitepaper to learn more about the importance of CSF biomarker testing in the diagnostic work - up of suspected Alzheimer’s disease patients.

The South West Area Mesothelin and Premetrexed trial (SWAMP)



  1. Molinuevo et al, Alzheimers Dement 2013; 10:608-17