Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a common neurodegenerative disease that starts with a clinically silent phase of a decade or more during which brain pathologies accumulate predominantly in the medial temporal lobe but also elsewhere in the brain. Network dysfunction and clinical symptoms typically appear when senile plaque (amyloid β) and neurofibrillary tangle (tau) pathologies meet in the brain parenchyma, producing synapse and neuronal loss. For plaque and tangle pathologies, reliable fluid biomarkers have been developed. These require sampling of cerebrospinal fluid. Reliable blood tests for plaque and tangle pathologies are currently lacking, but blood tests for general neurodegeneration have recently been developed. In AD, plaques and tangles often co-exist with other pathologies, including Lewy bodies, and to what extent these contribute to symptoms, is currently unknown. There are also important differential diagnoses that may be possible to distinguish from AD with the aid of biomarkers. The scope of this review is fluid biomarkers for AD and related pathologies. The purpose is to provide the reader with an updated account of currently available fluid biomarkers for AD and clinically relevant differential diagnoses.
- Alzheimer's disease
- cerebrospinal fluid
- Copyright © 2017, American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology