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CSF biomarkers for dementia


Although cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker testing is incorporated into some current guidelines for the diagnosis of dementia (such as England's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)), it is not widely accessible for most patients for whom biomarkers could potentially change management. Here we share our experience of running a clinical cognitive CSF service and discuss recent developments in laboratory testing including the use of the CSF amyloid-β 42/40 ratio and automated assay platforms. We highlight the importance of collaborative working between clinicians and laboratory staff, of preanalytical sample handling, and discuss the various factors influencing interpretation of the results in appropriate clinical contexts. We advocate for broadening access to CSF biomarkers by sharing clinical expertise, protocols and interpretation with colleagues working in psychiatry and elderly care, especially when access to CSF may be part of a pathway to disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

  • CSF
  • alzheimer disease
  • amyloid
  • dementia
  • health policy & practice

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  • Editors’ commentary
    Phil E M Smith Geraint N Fuller

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