Parkinson's Disease vs Alzheimer's Disease: albumin ratio (CSF)


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The albumin ratio—the ratio of albumin protein in the cerebrospinal fluid compared to levels in the plasma or serum—is considered a measure of blood-brain barrier function, with higher values indicating increased permeability. The albumin ratio was slightly higher in people with Parkinson's disease than people with Alzheimer’s disease (effect size = 1.189, p = 0.004). There was also a trend for the albumin ratio to be about 10 percent higher in people with Alzheimer's disease than controls. These findings suggest that the blood-brain barrier may be compromised in both Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

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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.