Frontotemporal Dementia vs Alzheimer's Disease: tau-total (CSF)


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Meta-analysis showed that the level of tau in the cerebrospinal fluid of people with frontotemporal dementia is half that of people with Alzheimer's disease (effect size = 0.524, p <0.0001). For comparison, the level of tau in the CSF of control subjects is approximately 40 percent that of AD patients. A meta-analysis comparing levels of tau in people with FTD and control subjects reported that tau is elevated in the CSF of patients (van Harten et al., 2011).

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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.