Cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light concentration predicts brain atrophy and cognition in Alzheimer's disease

Kunal Dhiman, Veer Bala Gupta*, Victor L. Villemagne, Dhamidhu Eratne, Petra L. Graham, Christopher Fowler, Pierrick Bourgeat, Qiao-Xin Li, Steven Collins, Ashley I. Bush, Christopher C. Rowe, Colin L. Masters, David Ames, Eugene Hone, Kaj Blennow, Henrik Zetterberg, Ralph N. Martins

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)
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    Introduction: This study assessed the utility of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neurofilament light (NfL) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) diagnosis, its association with amyloid and tau pathology, as well as its potential to predict brain atrophy, cognition, and amyloid accumulation.

    Methods: CSF NfL concentration was measured in 221 participants from the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers & Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing (AIBL).

    Results: CSF NfL levels as well as NfL/amyloid β (Aβ42) were significantly elevated in AD compared to healthy controls (HC; P <.001), and in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) compared to HC (P =.008 NfL; P <.001 NfL/Aβ42). CSF NfL and NfL/Aβ42 differentiated AD from HC with an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) of 0.84 and 0.90, respectively. CSF NfL and NfL/Aβ42 predicted cortical amyloid load, brain atrophy, and cognition.

    Discussion: CSF NfL is a biomarker of neurodegeneration, correlating with cognitive impairment and brain neuropathology.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere12005
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2020 The Authors. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • amyloid
    • biomarker
    • dementia
    • diagnosis
    • ELISA
    • neurodegeneration
    • neurofilaments


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