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Alzheimer's disease has a long asymptomatic phase that offers a substantial time window for intervention. Utilizing this window of opportunity will require early diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers to detect Alzheimer's disease pathology at pre-dementia stages, thus allowing identification of patients who will most probably progress to dementia of the Alzheimer's type and benefit from specific disease-modifying therapies. Consequently, we searched for CSF proteins associated with disease progression along with the clinical disease staging. We measured the levels of 184 proteins in CSF samples from 556 subjective cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment patients from three independent memory clinic longitudinal studies (Spanish ACE, n = 410; German DCN, n = 93; German Mannheim, n = 53). We evaluated the association between protein levels and clinical stage, and the effect of protein levels on the progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia of the Alzheimer's type. Mild cognitive impairment subjects with increased CSF level of matrix metalloproteinase 10 showed a higher probability of progressing to dementia of the Alzheimer's type and a faster cognitive decline. CSF matrix metalloproteinase 10 increased the prediction accuracy of CSF Aβ42, P-tau181, and T-tau for conversion to dementia of the Alzheimer's type. Including matrix metalloproteinase 10 to the [A/T/(N)] scheme improved considerably the prognostic value in mild cognitive impairment patients with abnormal Aβ42, but normal P-tau181 and T-tau, and in mild cognitive impairment patients with abnormal Aβ42, P-tau181, and T-tau. Matrix metalloproteinase 10 was correlated with age in subjects with normal Aβ42, P-tau181, and T-tau levels. Our findings support the use of CSF matrix metalloproteinase 10 as a prognostic marker for dementia of the Alzheimer's type and its inclusion to the [A/T/(N)] scheme to incorporate pathologic aspects beyond amyloid and tau. CSF level of matrix metalloproteinase 10 may reflect ageing and neuroinflammation.

Original publication




Journal article


Brain : a journal of neurology

Publication Date



Division of Neurogenetics and Molecular Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, 50937 Cologne, Germany.