Cerebrospinal fluid tau, neurogranin, and neurofilament light in Alzheimer's disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau (total tau, T-tau), neurofilament light (NFL), and neurogranin (Ng) are potential biomarkers for neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD). It is unknown whether these biomarkers provide similar or complementary information in AD. We examined 93 patients with AD, 187 patients with mild cognitive impairment, and 109 controls. T-tau, Ng, and NFL were all predictors of AD diagnosis. Combinations improved the diagnostic accuracy (AUC 85.5% for T-tau, Ng, and NFL) compared to individual biomarkers (T-tau 80.8%; Ng 71.4%; NFL 77.7%). T-tau and Ng were highly correlated (ρ = 0.79, P < 0.001) and strongly associated with β-amyloid (Aβ) pathology, and with longitudinal deterioration in cognition and brain structure, primarily in people with Aβ pathology. NFL on the other hand was not associated with Aβ pathology and was associated with cognitive decline and brain atrophy independent of Aβ. T-tau, Ng, and NFL provide partly independent information about neuronal injury and may be combined to improve the diagnostic accuracy for AD. T-tau and Ng reflect Aβ-dependent neurodegeneration, while NFL reflects neurodegeneration independently of Aβ pathology.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of Gothenburg
  • University College London
  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurology


  • Alzheimer's, biomarker, CSF, neurodegeneration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1184-1196
Number of pages13
JournalEMBO Molecular Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 1
Publication categoryResearch