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Multiple Sclerosis: Tau protein concentrations in patient CSF is not a valid marker for disease

February 10, 2003
Proteomics Weekly

According to recent research from Spain, "multiple sclerosis (MS) is the prototype of demyelinating disease, but recently it has been shown that the existence of axonal lesions contribute to irreversible central nervous system damage in this disease.

Tau proteins are considered to be important for maintaining the stability of axonal microtubules involved in the mediation of fast axonal transport of synaptic constituents. There have been reports of increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau concentrations in patients with MS, and it has been suggested that this could be a marker of axonal damage.

"The objective of the present study was to elucidate whether CSF tau levels could be a marker of MS activity. We measured tau concentrations in the CSF of 20 patients with MS (9 patients in the first, 7/second, 1/fourth exacerbation, and 3 patients with chronic progressive course), as well as in 32 age and sex matched controls, using a specific enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (EIA) method," wrote F.J. Jimenez and colleagues, University of Alcala.

The researchers concluded: "The CSF tau concentrations of patients with MS did not differ from those of controls, and they were not correlated with age at onset or duration of the disease. Thus CSF tau concentrations are not a marker of MS activity."

Jimenez and colleagues published their study in Acta Neurologica Scandinavica (Tau protein concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with multiple sclerosis. Acta Neurol Scand, 2002;106(6):351-354).

For additional information, contact F.J. Jimenez, Universidad de Alcala, Alcala de Henares, C Corregidor Jose Pasamonte 24, 3-D, E-28030 Madrid, Spain.

To subscribe to the journal Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, contact the publisher: Blackwell Munksgaard, 35 Norre Sogade, PO Box 2148, DK-1016 Copenhagen, Denmark.

The information in this article comes under the major subject areas of Neurology, Diagnostics, Multiple Sclerosis and Proteomics.

This article was prepared by Proteomics Weekly editors from staff and other reports.

© Copyright 2003 Proteomics Weekly