. Low cerebrospinal fluid concentration of mitochondrial DNA in preclinical Alzheimer disease. Ann Neurol. 2013 Jun 22; PubMed.

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  1. This study advances the AD biomarker field by identifying a new marker, in this case cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) levels. The authors present data that suggest CSF mtDNA changes precede CSF Aβ changes. While one must use caution when considering the mechanistic implications of a biomarker change, or of potential mechanistic relationships between different biomarkers based solely on temporal relationships, the phenomenon reported in this paper suggests that mitochondrial changes may precede amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing or Aβ homeostasis changes in AD. In some ways this is not surprising, as APP processing and Aβ homeostasis are exquisitely regulated processes, and bioenergetic function is one factor that is known to influence both.

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