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Neurofilament light protein in blood predicts regional atrophy in Huntington disease

Johnson, EB; Byrne, LM; Gregory, S; Rodrigues, FB; Blennow, K; Durr, A; Leavitt, BR; ... Wild, EJ; + view all (2018) Neurofilament light protein in blood predicts regional atrophy in Huntington disease. Neurology , 90 (8) e717-e723. 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005005. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: Neurofilament light (NfL) protein in blood plasma has been proposed as a prognostic biomarker of neurodegeneration in a number of conditions, including Huntington disease (HD). This study investigates the regional distribution of NfL-associated neural pathology in HD gene expansion carriers. / Methods: We examined associations between NfL measured in plasma and regionally specific atrophy in cross-sectional (n = 198) and longitudinal (n = 177) data in HD gene expansion carriers from the international multisite TRACK-HD study. Using voxel-based morphometry, we measured associations between baseline NfL levels and both baseline gray matter and white matter volume; and longitudinal change in gray matter and white matter over the subsequent 3 years in HD gene expansion carriers. / Results: After controlling for demographics, associations between increased NfL levels and reduced brain volume were seen in cortical and subcortical gray matter and within the white matter. After also controlling for known predictors of disease progression (age and CAG repeat length), associations were limited to the caudate and putamen. Longitudinally, NfL predicted subsequent occipital gray matter atrophy and widespread white matter reduction, both before and after correction for other predictors of disease progression. / Conclusions: These findings highlight the value of NfL as a dynamic marker of brain atrophy and, more generally, provide further evidence of the strong association between plasma NfL level, a candidate blood biomarker, and pathologic neuronal change.

Type: Article
Title: Neurofilament light protein in blood predicts regional atrophy in Huntington disease
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005005
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000005005
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the American Academy of Neurology. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY) 9http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: MRI, Huntington's disease, Basal ganglia
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10038768
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