CSF or serum neurofilament light added to α-Synuclein panel discriminates Parkinson's from controls

Linda P. Oosterveld, Inge M.W. Verberk, Nour K. Majbour, Omar M. El-Agnaf, Henry C. Weinstein, Henk W. Berendse, Charlotte E. Teunissen, Wilma D.J. van de Berg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Neurofilament light chain is a marker of axonal damage and is of interest as a biofluid biomarker for PD. The objective of this study was to investigate whether CSF or serum neurofilament contributes to a combination of CSF biomarkers in defining the optimal biomarker panel for discriminating PD patients from healthy controls. In addition, we aimed to assess whether CSF and/or serum neurofilament levels are associated with clinical measures of disease severity. Methods: We measured neurofilament light chain levels in CSF and/or serum of 139 PD patients and 52 age-matched healthy controls. We used stepwise logistic regression analyses to test whether neurofilament contributes to a biomarker CSF panel including total, oligomeric, and phosphorylated α-synuclein and Alzheimer's disease biomarkers. Measures of disease severity included disease duration, UPDRS-III, Hoehn & Yahr stage, and MMSE. Results: After correcting for age, CSF neurofilament levels were 42% higher in PD patients compared with controls (P < 0.01), whereas serum neurofilament levels were 37% higher (P = 0.08). Combining CSF neurofilament, phosphorylated-/total α-synuclein, and oligomeric-/total α-synuclein yielded the best-fitting model for discriminating PD patients from controls (area under the curve 0.92). The discriminatory potential of serum neurofilament in the CSF biomarker panel was similar (area under the curve 0.90). Higher serum neurofilament was associated with a lower MMSE score. There were no other associations between CSF and/or serum neurofilament levels and clinical disease severity. Conclusions: CSF neurofilament contributes to a panel of CSF α-synuclein species in differentiating PD patients from healthy controls. Serum neurofilament may have added value to a biofluid biomarker panel for differentiating PD patients from controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-295
Number of pages8
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number2
Early online date18 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Cite this