Neurofilaments in traumatic brain injury – current knowledge


Authors: L. Fialová
Authors‘ workplace: Ústav lékařské biochemie a laboratorní diagnostiky, 1. lékařská fakulta, Univerzita Karlova a Všeobecná fakultní nemocnice v Praze
Published in: Klin. Biochem. Metab., 26, 2018, No. 2, p. 68-75

Overview

Neurofilaments are neurocytoskeletal structures, localized primarily in the axons of neurons. Changes in the neurofilament levels in biological fluids are studied in various neurological disorders. In this review, the findings of studies focused on the determination of individual neurofilament chains in biological fluids in patients with brain injury are presented. Neurofilament levels significantly increase after traumatic brain injury compared to the control groups. Unlike some other biomarkers (such as protein S100b), whose levels reach the highest values within 1 – 2 days after injury, neurofilaments peak after more than one week. The results of studies in patients with severe and mild traumatic brain injuries suggest that neurofilaments could also have prognostic potential.

Based on the encouraging results of previous studies, it appears that serum or cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament determination could be a suitable test which can help to estimate the severity and prognosis of traumatic brain injuries. Determination of serum neurofilaments would complete the examination of existing biomarkers of neurotrauma as well as neuroimaging methods.

Keywords:

neurofilaments – cerebrospinal fluid – serum – traumatic brain injury.


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