Posterior Cortical Atrophy vs Alzheimer's Disease: Aβ42 (CSF)


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Meta-analysis showed similar levels of Aβ42 in the cerebrospinal fluid of people with posterior cortical atrophy and people with Alzheimer's disease. However, a paucity of data limited the meta-analysis, with only two eligible studies and a small number of subjects. For comparison, the level of Aβ42 in the CSF of control subjects is nearly double that of people with Alzheimer's disease. The decrease in Aβ42 in the CSF of AD patients is thought to reflect the deposition of the peptide into amyloid plaques in the brain; notably, PCA is frequently associated with Alzheimer’s pathology (Tang-Wai et al., 2004).

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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.