Revisiting the Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarker Profile in Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus: The Bologna Pro-Hydro Study

Samir Abu-Rumeileh, Giulia Giannini, Barbara Polischi, Luca Albini-Riccioli, David Milletti, Federico Oppi, Michelangelo Stanzani-Maserati, Sabina Capellari, Paolo Mantovani, Giorgio Palandri, Pietro Cortelli, Sabina Cevoli, Piero Parchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers have been extensively investigated in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) with the aim of a better differential diagnosis, but the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying CSF biomarker changes and the relationship between biomarker levels and clinical variables are still a matter of debate. We evaluated CSF amyloid-β (Aβ) 42 and Aβ 40, total (t)-tau, phosphorylated (p)-tau, total prion protein (t-PrP), and neurofilament light chain protein (NfL) in healthy controls (n=50) and subjects with iNPH (n=71), Alzheimer's disease (AD) (n=60), and several other subtypes of dementia (n=145). Patients with iNPH showed significantly lower levels of Aβ 42, Aβ 40, t-tau, and p-tau compared to controls. Similarly, t-PrP values showed a trend toward lower levels in iNPH patients than in controls. At variance, NfL levels were increased in iNPH as in all other neurodegenerative dementias, with no significant difference between "pure" iNPH cases and those with vascular or AD comorbidities. The Aβ 42 /Aβ 40 ratio showed higher diagnostic value than Aβ 42 alone in the differential diagnosis between iNPH and AD. There were no clinically relevant associations between neuroimaging markers, scores at clinical and cognitive scales/tests, or rates of response at tap test and CSF biomarker results. In summary, the CSF biomarker signature in patients with iNPH is mainly characterized by reduced CSF concentrations of Aβ- and tau-related proteins. The assessment of CSF neurodegenerative biomarker profile in iNPH, including the Aβ 42 /Aβ 40 ratio, contributes to the differential diagnosis with AD and other dementias but shows poor associations with clinical variables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-733
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • amyloid
  • Aβ 42 /Aβ 40 ratio
  • dementia with Lewy bodies
  • frontotemporal dementia
  • neurofilament light chain protein
  • prion protein
  • tau
  • vascular dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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