Cerebrospinal fluid levels of tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 in patients with Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia

Sabrina Ravaglia, Paola Bini, Elena Sinforiani, Diego Franciotta, Elisabetta Zardini, Pietro Tosca, Arrigo Moglia, Alfredo Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In 31 patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), 19 with probable vascular dementia (VaD) and 20 with Possible AD and Possible VaD, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau levels hyperphosphorylated at threonine 181 (Ptau) were measured by ELISA. Thirty-six age-matched subjects were used as controls. The severity of the cognitive decline was assessed at the time of CSF analysis and after a 12-month follow-up. The groups had comparable age, degree of cognitive impairment and disease duration; these parameters were not related to P-tau levels. P-tau discriminated between demented patients and controls, but no significant difference emerged between AD and the other groups. By contrast, higher P-tau values were found to predict, independently of the clinical diagnosis, a more rapid evolution of cognitive decline. Whether these findings are due to a lack of CSF P-tau specificity or to the low reliability of clinical and radiological criteria remains unclear. P-tau may be useful in the evaluation of disease evolution, by predicting the rate of cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-423
Number of pages7
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008



  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Biological markers
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Tau protein
  • Vascular dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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