Neurology Central

BDNF and tau as biomarkers of severity in multiple sclerosis

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Neurodegenerative diseases have all been found to have a multifactor etiology. The more we study them, the harder it is to make an association between biomarkers and disease that works for every patient. A simple quantification of biomarkers gives no advantage to the daily clinician. Here, we have studied the biomarkers we thought would give us useful information about patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). A biomarker is defined as a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of a normal biological process, pathogenic process, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention [1].

Aim: Determine if serum levels of tau and BDNF can be used as severity biomarkers in MS. Patients & methods: Subjects with MS, older than 18 and younger than 55 years old were included; 74 patients with a diagnosis of relapsing–remitting MS, 11 with secondary-progressive MS, and 88 controls were included. Total tau and BDNF were measured by Western blot. Results: Increased tau and decreased BDNF in MS patients compared with controls was found. Total-tau has a peak in relapsing–remitting MS, the second decile of the multiple sclerosis severity score, and in the lowest expanded disability status scale and is no different than controls for secondary-progressive MS patients and the most severe cases of MS. Conclusion: BDNF is a good biomarker for diagnosis of MS but not for severity or progression. Tau appears to have a more active role in the progression of MS.

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