Association of plasma glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) with neuroimaging of Alzheimer's disease and vascular pathology

Dror Shir, Jonathan Graff-Radford, Ekaterina I. Hofrenning, Timothy G. Lesnick, Scott A. Przybelski, Val J. Lowe, David S. Knopman, Ronald C. Petersen, Clifford R. Jack, Prashanthi Vemuri, Alicia Algeciras-Schimnich, Michelle R. Campbell, Nikki H. Stricker, Michelle M. Mielke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Plasma glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) may be associated with amyloid burden, neurodegeneration, and stroke but its specificity for Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the general population is unclear. We examined associations of plasma GFAP with amyloid and tau positron emission tomography (PET), cortical thickness, white matter hyperintensities (WMH), and cerebral microbleeds (CMBs). Methods: The study included 200 individuals from the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging who underwent amyloid and tau PET and magnetic resonance imaging and had plasma GFAP concurrently assayed; multiple linear regression and hurdle model analyses were used to investigate associations controlling for age and sex. Results: GFAP was associated with amyloid and tau PET in multivariable models. After adjusting for amyloid, the association with tau PET was no longer significant. GFAP was associated with cortical thickness, WMH, and lobar CMBs only among those who were amyloid-positive. Discussion: This cross-sectional analysis demonstrates the utility of GFAP as a plasma biomarker for AD-related pathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12291
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • amyloid pathology astrogliosis
  • blood-based biomarkers
  • plasma glial fibrillary acidic protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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