There is a need for effective biomarkers showing whether or not a patient with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) will progress to Alzheimer's disease (AD) with dementia. At the present three cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers are in general use: total tau, phospho-tau and β-Amyloid. These markers are regarded to have high capacity to differentiate early AD from normal ageing. We have analysed CSF levels of a new marker for neuronal degeneration, 24S-hydroxycholesterol (24OHC) in patients with MCI. For reasons of comparison, we also analysed these levels in patients with AD. There was a significant correlation between CSF levels of 24OHC and total tau (as well as phospho-tau) in both groups of patients. Fifty percent of the patients contemplated for MCI were found to have elevated levels of 24OHC (using a 95th upper percentile set cut-off). All the MCI patients with normal levels of 24OHC had normal levels of the other markers. In patients with AD, the percentages of those with increased levels of 24OHC, tau and phospho tau were similar (55-67%). In this pilot study, we discuss the possibility that 24OHC may be a sensitive test for MCI.
- Gas chromatography mass spectrometry
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