Chapter Two - Phosphorylated tau in Alzheimer’s disease.

Telser, Julia; Grossmann, Kirsten; Wohlwend, Niklas; Risch, Lorenz; Saely, Christoph H; Werner, Philipp (2023). Chapter Two - Phosphorylated tau in Alzheimer’s disease. In: Advances in clinical chemistry 116 (pp. 31-111). Elsevier 10.1016/bs.acc.2023.05.001

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There is a need for blood biomarkers to detect individuals at different Alzheimer's disease (AD) stages because obtaining cerebrospinal fluid-based biomarkers is invasive and costly. Plasma phosphorylated tau proteins (p-tau) have shown potential as such biomarkers. This systematic review was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines and aimed to determine whether quantification of plasma tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (p-tau181), threonine 217 (p-tau217) and threonine 231 (p-tau231) is informative in the diagnosis of AD. All p-tau isoforms increase as a function of Aβ-accumulation and discriminate healthy individuals from those at preclinical AD stages with high accuracy. P-tau231 increases earliest, followed by p-tau181 and p-tau217. In advanced stages, all p-tau isoforms are associated with the clinical classification of AD and increase with disease severity, with the greatest increase seen for p-tau217. This is also reflected by a better correlation of p-tau217 with Aβ scans, whereas both, p-tau217 and p-tau181 correlated equally with tau scans. However, at the very advanced stages, p-tau181 begins to plateau, which may mirror the trajectory of the Aβ pathology and indicate an association with a more intermediate risk of AD. Across the AD continuum, the incremental increase in all biomarkers is associated with structural changes in widespread brain regions and underlying cognitive decline. Furthermore, all isoforms differentiate AD from non-AD neurodegenerative disorders, making them specific for AD. Incorporating p-tau181, p-tau217 and p-tau231 in clinical use requires further studies to examine ideal cut-points and harmonize assays.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Institute of Clinical Chemistry

UniBE Contributor:

Risch, Lorenz


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

24 Oct 2023 15:59

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2023 15:59

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Uncontrolled Keywords:

Alzheimer's disease Biomarker P-tau181 P-tau217 P-tau231 Phosphorylated tau Plasma


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