Background: The current diagnosis method for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is post-mortem examination, so early detection of CJD has been historically problematic. Auxiliary detection of CJD based on changes in levels of components of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has become a focus of research. In other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), cell-free mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the CSF of patients may serve as a biomarker that could facilitate early diagnosis and studies of the mechanisms underlying the disease.
Methods: In this study, the cell-free mitochondrial DNA in the CSF of patients with sCJD and control patients was compared by digital droplet PCR.
Results: The cell-free mitochondrial DNA copy number in the CSF of sCJD patients was significantly increased in comparison with that of the control group, and this difference was pathologically related to CJD.
Conclusion: Therefore, we speculate that changes in cerebrospinal fluid mitochondrial DNA copy number play an important role in the study of CJD mechanism and diagnosis.