Multiple System Atrophy vs Alzheimer's Disease: tau-total (CSF)


Back to the Top

A large number of studies over the past 20 years have quantified tau protein in the cerebrospinal fluid of people with Alzheimer’s disease, consistently finding elevated levels of tau in AD—such that levels of tau in control subjects are less than half those in patients. Meta-analysis of 10 eligible comparisons showed that the level of tau in the CSF of people with multiple system atrophy is also less than half that of people with AD (effect size = 0.388, p <0.0001). For comparison, CSF tau was reported to be lower in MSA patients than in controls (Cong et al., 2020).

Loading data...

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.