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Sulfatides (STs) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-detected white matter hyperintensities (WMHs), may reflect demyelination. Here, we investigated the diagnostic utility of CSF ST levels in the subcortical small vessel type of dementia (SSVD), which is characterized by the presence of brain WMHs. To study the diagnostic utility of CSF ST levels in SSVD. This was a mono-center, cross-sectional study of SSVD (n = 16), Alzheimer's disease (n = 40), mixed dementia (n = 27), and healthy controls (n = 33). Totally, 20 ST species were measured in CSF by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). CSF total ST levels, as well as CSF levels of hydroxylated and nonhydroxylated ST species, did not differ across the study groups. In contrast, CSF neurofilament light chain (NFL) levels separated the patient groups from the controls. CSF total ST level correlated with CSF/serum albumin ratio in the total study population (r = 0.64, p < 0.001) and in all individual study groups. Furthermore, CSF total ST level correlated positively with MRI-estimated WMH volume in the total study population (r = 0.30, p < 0.05), but it did not correlate with CSF NFL level. Although there was some relation between CSF total ST level and WMH volume, CSF ST levels were unaltered in all dementia groups compared to the controls. This suggests that CSF total ST level is a poor biomarker of demyelination in SSVD. Further studies are needed to investigate the mechanisms underlying the marked correlation between CSF total ST level and CSF/serum albumin ratio.


Johan Svensson, Maria Blomqvist, Petronella Kettunen, Carl Eckerström, Marcus Henricsson, Michael Jonsson, Maria Bjerke, Jan-Eric Månsson, Anders Wallin. Cerebrospinal Fluid Sulfatide Levels Lack Diagnostic Utility in the Subcortical Small Vessel Type of Dementia. Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD. 2021;82(2):781-790

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PMID: 34092632

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