Biomarkers and Bioinformatics Oral Presentation

PS03.02 - Biomarkers of neurodegeneration, in particular Tau protein, may predict early disability in Multiple Sclerosis patients.

  • E. Virgilio
  • E. Virgilio
  • D. Vecchio
  • I. Crespi
  • P. Naldi
  • R. Cantello
  • U. Dianzani
  • C. Comi
Presentation Number
Presentation Topic
Biomarkers and Bioinformatics
Lecture Time
10:45 - 10:57



Neurodegeneration in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) occurs from early disease stages. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Tau protein and beta-amyloid
protein (Abeta) are currently markers used in other neurodegenerative diseases. Several molecules, including Tau and Abeta, have been
investigated as suitable biomarkers of axonal damage in MS, but none is routinely used in clinical practice, also due to conflicting results.


To evaluate if CSF Tau and Abeta protein, evaluated at the diagnosis, could predict early MS disability obtained at last clinical follow-up and to evaluate a possible correlation between CSF Tau and Abeta protein with radiological prognostic markers also collected at the diagnosis (baseline).


CSF Abeta and Tau levels were determined with commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in newly diagnosed MS patients. We collected demographic, clinical, and radiological data at baseline and at last clinical follow-up. We evaluated early disability using the MS severity score (MSSS) and the MSSS age-related score (ARMSS) at last follow-up as disability outcome, and global T2 white matter lesion load (LL) with a cut-off of 9 lesions and the presence or absence of spinal cord lesions as radiological baseline prognostic markers


We enrolled 109 patients, 82 with a relapsing-remitting MS and with a mean follow-up of 4 years (SD±5y). Mean CSF values of Tau and Abeta were respectively 128,5±69 pg/ml and 557,7±258,6 pg/ml. Patients with higher CSF Tau levels at diagnosis developed higher disability evaluated with MSSS (R:0,3361, p=0,0003) and ARMSS (R:0,3088, p=0,001). At the moment, no correlations were found for Abeta and early disability markers. We also found a trend of higher Tau level and lower Abeta levels with higher T2 white matter LL and spinal cord involvement, still statistically not significant.


Our results showed a predictive role of neurodegenerative CSF markers, in particular Tau protein, in identifying early disability and worse prognosis in MS patients, indipendently from age. To our knowledge no other studies report a correlation of CSF Tau with both MSSS and ARMSS. Longer follow-up, larger population and extended analysis of radiological data are needed, to confirm a predictive and prognostic role of our biomarkers both at baseline and follow up.