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Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Biomarkers for use in Alzheimer's Disease research

Dr Andrea C. Wilson, A/Prof Kathryn Ellis, Prof Ralph Martins
Research Centre DCRC Early Diagnosis and Prevention
Partner Institution
Project Description

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection for the purpose of scientific research remains a controversial topic albeit its routine use in medical practices around the world. The evidence for the benefit of CSF biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease (AD) research and other neurodegenerative disorders, however, is too compelling to ignore.

The measurement of the 2 key AD proteins, amyloid-beta and tau, continue to be the 'gold standard' in early AD diagnostics. With the high sensitivity and specificity of this assay, CSF biomarkers can be used to administer treatments at an effective point during the course of the disease, and they can be used to monitor the efficacy of such treatments as well.

In this mini-review, we hope to provide a comprehensive look at how the benefits of CSF biomarker collection/analysis outweigh the risks of the actual lumbar puncture procedure itself, according to many studies previously performed. Additionally, we have extracted clues from this literature as to the best practice available, when discussing lumbar puncture methods. With the prevalence and cost of Alzheimer's disease rising at a rapid rate, early diagnostic measures such as CSF biomarkers become a crucial piece to solving this complex puzzle that we cannot overlook.

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