The Bergen Geriatric Research Group / Bergen's Oldest
CSF biomakers in Parkinsons Disease

Association between CSF biomarkers and cognitive function in early untreated Parkinsons disease

Is there an relationship between CSF biomarkers and mild cognitive impairment in early untreated Parkinsons Disease?

Ragnhild Eide Skogseth

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In this large study with 414 early untreated PD patients and 189 healthy controls, Ragnhild Skogseth and collaborators investigated the relationship between pathologic CSF markers and neuropsychological test results. Lower α-synuclein was associated with reduced performance on the executive-attention domain and the composite cognition factor in the whole PD-group. Abeta42 was significantly decreased in PD with mild cognitive impairment compared with controls after adjusting for covariates, while values in PD without MCI were identical to healthy controls.

The association between reduced CSF α-synuclein concentrations and cognition suggests that α-synuclein pathology contributes to early cognitive impairment in PD, in particular to executive-attentional dysfunction. Longitudinal analyses are needed to determine if this and other CSF biomarkers in early Parkinson’s disease are associated with the risk of future cognitive decline and dementia

The identification of these biomarkers associated with mild cognitive impairment has a potential large impact in treatment of PD patients worldwide. 

The study has received significant international attention. “This is a very important study that not only gives insight into the mechanisms that might underlie cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease, but it might also represent the first steps in the development of a much needed biomarker that can predict which patients will develop dementia,” commented Patrik Brundin, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease and Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Science at Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, MI



Skogseth, Ragnhild E., et al. "Associations between Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers and Cognition in Early Untreated Parkinson’s Disease." Journal of Parkinson's disease Preprint (2015): 1-10.

Press release from Journal of Parkinsons Disease regarding the current study.