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The diagnostic performance of neurofilament light chain in CSF and blood for Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Nov. 24, 2021

Introduction

A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed regarding the diagnostic performance of neurofilament light chain (NfL) in CSF and blood.

Methods

A database search was conducted for NfL biomarker studies in the context of Alzheimer's disease (AD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) compared with controls (i.e., cognitively unimpaired, mild cognitive impairment, or disease mimics).

Results

In groups with a sufficient number of studies, the performance of NfL in blood and CSF was similar. Compared with disease mimics, we observed that CSF NfL had strong discriminatory power for ALS, modest discriminatory power for FTD, and no discriminatory power for AD. NfL provided the greatest separation between ALS and cognitively unimpaired controls in both the blood and CSF, followed by FTD (CSF and blood), then AD (blood and CSF).

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