Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (Sporadic) vs Alzheimer's Disease: tau-total (Plasma and Serum)


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During the past decade, the development of highly sensitive assays—like SIMOA and immunomagnetic reduction—has permitted the quantification of biomolecules in blood. Our meta-analysis of more than 30 comparisons showd that the level of tau in the blood of Alzheimer's patients is about 40 percent greater than that of control subjects. Tau is further elevated in people with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: Meta-analysis of two studies showed a greater than five-fold increase in plasma tau in sCJD compared with AD (effect size = 5.599), although the p value (0.04) was only marginally signficant.

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How to interpret a forest plot: Each individual effect size (ES) is a ratio of the mean biomarker level in one condition over the mean level in another condition. An ES equal to 1 means that the two conditions had identical mean values. An ES > 1 indicates higher levels in the first condition, whereas an ES < 1 indicates lower levels in the first condition. The overall ES, indicated by a black diamond, is a weighted average of the individual effect sizes. The weight of each data point was determined by the inverse of the variance and is reflected in the size of each square. The width of the overall ES diamond is determined by the 95 percent confidence interval. Data out of range of the scale, including ES and confidence intervals, are indicated by an arrowhead at the edge of the plot, when applicable. 

Version 3.0, July 2021.