Racial differences in cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease


  • African American individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have lower levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau and phosphorylated tau (pTau181) compared with white individuals, not effectively explained by disease stage or hippocampal volumes.

  • The cutoff for normal cognition vs MCI is the same in African American and white individuals for the ratio of CSF pTau181 to amyloid beta 42 (Aβ42).

Why this matters

    The variation in CSF biomarker levels of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in this study indicates that race is a vital factor in interpreting CSF biomarkers for diagnosis of early-stage prodromal AD, however pTau181 to Aβ42 ratio may be applied similarly in both groups.