Diagnostic Value of Cerebrospinal Fluid Neurofilament Light Protein in Neurology

Question  How do levels of neurofilament light in cerebrospinal fluid (cNfL) compare between neurological conditions and with healthy controls?

Findings  Among 10 059 individuals in this systematic review and meta-analysis, cNfL was elevated in most neurological conditions compared with healthy controls, and the magnitude of the increase varies extensively. Although cNfL overlaps between most clinically similar conditions, its distribution did not overlap in frontotemporal dementia and other dementias or in Parkinson disease and atypical parkinsonian syndromes.

Meaning  The cNfL is a marker of neuronal damage and may be useful to differentiate some clinically similar conditions, such as frontotemporal dementia from Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease from atypical parkinsonian syndromes.

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