Glial fibrillary acidic protein: a blood biomarker to differentiate neurodegenerative from psychiatric diseases

Blood glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) concentration is higher in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) than in primary psychiatric disorders (PPD) and predicts disease progression in FTLD

Early symptoms of neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases may be indistinguishable. It has become increasingly clear that the pathological changes underlying neurodegenerative diseases are well established before clinical presentation. These pathological changes, previously only observable at autopsy, can now be detected using biomarkers (imaging based or fluid based).1

To facilitate biomarker-based detection of neurodegeneration in clinical practice, easy-to-use blood tests for first-line testing would be of great value. Such tests have been developed for Alzheimer’s disease pathology (plasma Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio and phosphorylated tau species), and for neurofilament light (NfL), a more general biomarker for neuroaxonal injury in both acute and chronic neurological conditions has been developed.1 In contrast, it has been difficult to identify biomarkers for psychiatric diseases—none exists to date and…

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