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Perspectives in fluid biomarkers in neurodegeneration from the 2019 biomarkers in neurodegenerative diseases course—a joint PhD student course at University College London and University of Gothenburg

  • Obrocki, Pawel1
  • Khatun, Ayesha2
  • Ness, Deborah3
  • Senkevich, Konstantin4, 5
  • Hanrieder, Jörg2, 6
  • Capraro, Federica7, 8
  • Mattsson, Niklas9, 9
  • Andreasson, Ulf6, 6
  • Portelius, Erik6, 6
  • Ashton, Nicholas J.6, 10, 3, 11
  • Blennow, Kaj6, 6
  • Schöll, Michael2, 6, 10, 12
  • Paterson, Ross W.2
  • Schott, Jonathan M.2
  • Zetterberg, Henrik6, 6, 13, 14
  • 1 Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 2 UCL Institute of Neurology, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 3 King’s College London, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 4 First Pavlov State Medical University of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Russia , St. Petersburg (Russia)
  • 5 Kurchatov Institute, Gatchina, Russia , Gatchina (Russia)
  • 6 the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden , Mölndal (Sweden)
  • 7 The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 8 University College London Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 9 Lund University, Lund, Sweden , Lund (Sweden)
  • 10 the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden , Gothenburg (Sweden)
  • 11 NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health & Biomedical Research Unit for Dementia at South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 12 Lund University, Malmö, Sweden , Malmö (Sweden)
  • 13 University College London, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
  • 14 University College London Institute of Neurology, London, UK , London (United Kingdom)
Published Article
Alzheimer's Research & Therapy
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Feb 28, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s13195-020-00586-6
Springer Nature


Until relatively recently, a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative disorders was principally based on clinical presentation, with post-mortem examination remaining a gold standard for disease confirmation. This is in sharp contrast to other areas of medicine, where fluid biomarkers, such as troponin levels in myocardial infarction, form an integral part of the diagnostic and treatment criteria. There is a pressing need for such quantifiable and easily accessible tools in neurodegenerative diseases. In this paper, based on lectures given at the 2019 Biomarkers in Neurodegenerative Diseases Course, we provide an overview of a range of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood biomarkers in neurodegenerative disorders, including the ‘core’ AD biomarkers amyloid β (Aβ) and tau, as well as other disease-specific and general markers of neuroaxonal injury. We then highlight the main challenges in the field, and how those could be overcome with the aid of new methodological advances, such as assay automation, mass spectrometry and ultrasensitive immunoassays. As we hopefully move towards an era of disease-modifying treatments, reliable biomarkers will be essential to increase diagnostic accuracy, allow for earlier diagnosis, better participant selection and disease activity and treatment effect monitoring.

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