Neurofilament Light Chain Levels in Frontotemporal Dementia and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy: A Systematic Review

Nathalie Bendstrup, Anne-Mette Hejl, Lisette Salvesen


BACKGROUND: It can be challenging to discriminate between progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). However, a correct diagnosis is a precondition for targeted treatment strategies and proper patient counseling. There has been a growing interest to identify cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, including neurofilament light chain (NfL).

OBJECTIVE: This systematic review evaluates the existing literature on neurofilament light in CSF aiming to validate its utility for differentiating FTD from PSP.

METHODS: A systematic literature search was conducted. A broad range of synonyms for PSP, NfL, and FTD as well as associated MeSH terms, were combined and used as keywords when searching. Relevant data were extracted and assessed for risk of bias.

RESULTS: Nine studies including a total of 671 patients with FTD, 254 patients with PSP, 523 healthy controls, and 1,771 patients with other disorders were included in the review. Four studies found a significantly higher level of CSF NfL in FTD (n = 445) compared to PSP (n = 124); however, in three of these studies the difference was only significant in certain FTD variants. Four studies found no significant difference in CSF NfL between PSP (n = 98) and FTD (n = 248). One study found a significantly higher level of NfL in PSP (n = 33) compared to FTD (n = 16).

CONCLUSION: In the majority of patients in the studies included in this review, a higher level of NfL in CSF was found in patients with FTD compared to patients with PSP; however, results were inconsistent and prospective studies including large study cohorts are needed.

TidsskriftJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)131-140
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 11 mar. 2022


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