DOI: 10.3390/brainsci14030272 ISSN: 2076-3425

Neurofilaments Light Chain in Neurodegenerative Dementias: A Review of Imaging Correlates

Chiara Gallingani, Chiara Carbone, Manuela Tondelli, Giovanna Zamboni
  • General Neuroscience

Neurofilaments light chain (NfLs) are currently recognized as a marker of axonal injury and degeneration. Their measurement in biological fluids has a promising role in the diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of the therapeutic response in neurological diseases, including neurodegenerative dementias. In recent years, their relationship with clinical phenotypes and measures of disease severity has been extensively studied. Here, we reviewed studies investigating the association between NfLs and imaging measures of grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) damage in neurodegenerative dementias. We identified a large number of studies investigating this association in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and disorders of the frontotemporal dementia (FTD) spectrum. Results were heterogeneous, possibly due to different methodological approaches—both in NfL measurements and imaging analyses—and inclusion criteria. However, a positive association between NfL levels and GM atrophy, WM microstructural disruption, glucose hypometabolism, and protein accumulation emerged invariably, confirming the role of NfLs as a reliable biomarker for neurodegenerative dementias, albeit not specific.

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