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Alpha-synuclein in the Cerebrospinal Fluid Differentiates Synucleinopathies (Parkinson Disease, Dementia With Lewy Bodies, Multiple System Atrophy) From Alzheimer Disease

Tateno, Fuyuki MD*; Sakakibara, Ryuji MD, PhD*; Kawai, Takayuki BSci; Kishi, Masahiko MD, PhD*; Murano, Takeyoshi BSci

Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders: July-September 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 3 - p 213–216
doi: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e31823899cc
Original Articles

Background: We examined the utility of quantification of α-synuclein (SNCA) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to differentiate patients with Alzheimer disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson disease (PD), and multiple system atrophy (MSA).

Methods: Thirty-seven patients were divided into 4 age-matched and sex-matched clinical groups: AD (n=9), DLB (n=6), PD (n=11), and MSA (n=11). Eleven subjects served as neurological disease controls. The total of 48 subjects included 27 men and 21 women, aged 66.5±11.4 years. We performed a solid-phase sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, which enables the sensitive quantification of CSF SNCA.

Results: In comparison with controls, CSF SNCA levels in AD were significantly higher (P<0.05). CSF SNCA levels in PD (P<0.001), DLB (P<0.01), and MSA (P<0.05) were all significantly lower than those in AD. However, CSF SNCA levels did not differ significantly among the 3 synucleinopathies.

Conclusions: The results of the present study suggest that quantification of CSF SNCA helps in the differentiation of synucleinopathies (PD, DLB, and MSA) from AD. However, CSF SNCA levels did not differ significantly among the 3 synucleinopathies.

*Department of Internal Medicine, Neurology Division

Research Advancement Unit, Sakura Medical Center, Toho University, Sakura, Japan

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Ryuji Sakakibara, MD, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine, Sakura Medical Center, Neurology Division, Toho University, 564-1 Shimoshizu, Sakura 285-8741, Japan (e-mail:

Received September 21, 2010

Accepted September 17, 2011

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.