In this month’s JAMA Neurology, two papers examine whether tau circulating in plasma could offer a blood-based biomarker for brain disorders. One, by Kevin Wang, University of Florida, Gainesville, Geoffrey Manley, CNEP-UCSF, and others, measures total and phosphorylated tau and their ratio to try to detect cases of acute or chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI). It found tau to be up in all forms of TBI, with p-tau better separating patients from controls, and mild from severe cases. The other, led by Jeffrey Dage, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, and Michelle Mielke, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, examines whether plasma total tau predicts progression to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia, or risk for cognitive decline in aging. Those researchers find but a tenuous relationship between plasma tau and cognitive decline.
The above was published in Alzforum.