The cerebrospinal fluid "Alzheimer profile": Easily said, but what does it mean?

Flora H. Duits*, Charlotte E. Teunissen, Femke H. Bouwman, Pieter-Jelle Visser, Niklas Mattsson, Henrik Zetterberg, Kaj Blennow, Oskar Hansson, Lennart Minthon, Niels Andreasen, Jan Marcusson, Anders Wallin, Marcel Olde Rikkert, Magda Tsolaki, Lucilla Parnetti, Sanna-Kaisa Herukka, Harald Hampel, Mony J. De Leon, Johannes Schroeder, Dag AarslandMarinus A. Blankenstein, Philip Scheltens, Wiesje M. van der Flier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: We aimed to identify the most useful definition of the "cerebrospinal fluid Alzheimer profile," based on amyloid-beta(1-42) (A beta(42)), total tau, and phosphorylated tau (p-tau), for diagnosis and prognosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Methods: We constructed eight Alzheimer profiles with previously published combinations, including regression formulas and simple ratios. We compared their diagnostic accuracy and ability to predict dementia due to AD in 1385 patients from the Amsterdam Dementia Cohort. Results were validated in an independent cohort (n = 1442). Results: Combinations outperformed individual biomarkers. Based on the sensitivity of the best performing regression formulas, cutoffs were chosen at 0.52 for the tau/A beta(42) ratio and 0.08 for the p-tau/A beta(42) ratio. Ratios performed similar to formulas (sensitivity, 91%-93%; specificity, 81%-84%). The same combinations best predicted cognitive decline in mild cognitive impairment patients. Validation confirmed these results, especially regarding the tau/A beta(42) ratio. Conclusions: A tau/A beta(42) ratio of >0.52 constitutes a robust cerebrospinal fluid Alzheimer profile. We recommend using this ratio to combine biomarkers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-723
JournalAlzheimer's & Dementia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Amyloid-beta(1-42)
  • Tau
  • Biomarkers
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Predictive value


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