Plasma Cystatin C Correlates with Plasma NfL Levels and Predicts Disease Progression in Parkinson's Disease

Alberto Imarisio, Andrea Pilotto*, Emirena Garrafa, Francesca Conforti, Stefano Masciocchi, Rosanna Turrone, Stefano Gipponi, Elisabetta Cottini, Maria Cristina Rizzetti, Vanessa Porrini, Cristina Gussago, Marina Pizzi, Fiorella Guadagni, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicholas J. Ashton, Abdul Hye, Alessandro Padovani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Previous studies reported increased plasma levels of cystatin C (Cys-C) in Parkinson's disease (PD) and claimed for a possible association with disease severity and progression. The aim of this study was to evaluate plasma Cys-C in PD and healthy controls (HC) and test its association with markers of peripheral inflammation, neurodegeneration, and clinical progression in a longitudinal study. Methods: Plasma Cys-C, high-sensitive C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, and neurofilament light chain (NfL) were assessed at the baseline in 71 consecutive non-demented PD and 69 HC. PD patients underwent an extensive motor and cognitive assessment at baseline and after 2 years of follow-up. The association of Cys-C with disease severity was evaluated in a multilinear model adjusted for the effect of age, sex, disease duration, and peripheral inflammation. Results: Cys-C levels appeared to be higher in PD compared to controls and correlated with the plasma neuronal marker NfL (r = 0.204, p = 0.046). In longitudinal analyses, PD patients with higher Cys-C levels exhibited faster motor progression at 2 years of follow-up independently from the peripheral inflammatory profile. Conclusions: Cys-C was associated with higher NfL levels and a remarkably faster motor progression in PD independently from peripheral inflammation. Further studies are needed in order to understand the mechanisms underpinning the association of Cys-C with higher neuronal damage markers in neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalNeurodegenerative Diseases
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Biomarkers
  • Cystatin-C
  • Neurofilament light chain
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Progression


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