National Dementia Diagnostics Laboratory

The National Dementia Diagnostics Laboratory (NDDL), located at The Florey, is a NATA/ILAC accredited pathology testing laboratory.

The NDDL is the only accredited pathology testing laboratory in Australia that provides cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diagnostic testing for Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The NDDL offers its diagnostic services to the medical community, scientific researchers and the pharmaceutical industry and is a collaboration between The Florey and the University of Melbourne.

NDDL logo

CSF test for AD

The Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Assay for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is an ante-mortem diagnostic test that detects alterations in biomarker protein levels, Abeta1-42, phospho-tau (P-tau), and total Tau (T-tau) in fresh CSF, which are believed to be directly related to the pathophysiology of the disease. These CSF biomarkers offer ~90% sensitivity and specificity for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Neurofilament Light

Neurofilament light (NfL) is a non-specific marker of central nervous system neuronal injury. It requires to be used with clinical correlation. NfL testing is yet to be NATA accredited.


Please download the sample collection instruction sheet (Version 1, July 2022). For the most accurate samples, we recommend:

  • Collect directly into the blue capped tube (Sarstedt 63.614.625). DO NOT FREEZE the sample under any circumstance. CSF collected into any other tube type is considered unsuitable for Abeta1-42
  • Must be accompanied by the CSF specimen data sheet (Version 2, May 2023)
  • CSF in the blue capped tube is also suitable for NfL (not NATA accredited)

Testing fees

There is no Medicare rebate for the NDDL tests. For private patients, please provide a signed payment agreement for the test on the request form.

Alzheimer’s disease test includes Abeta1-42, P-tau and T-tau and is $400 (effective from July 2023).

Neurofilament Light testing is $200.

The test is run weekly, and any samples received by Friday will be included in the following week’s test. By pre-arrangement with NDDL for urgent sample, a report can be issued within two days upon sample receipt with an additional cost of $100. The NfL is run in batch, estimated to be run every 2-4 weeks.

Clinician resources

Australian-registered Healthcare Professionals should visit the ADBioHub for resources featuring NDDL staff, including:

  • Podcast Explore biomarker testing for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Podcast Unravel the neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease

Contact NDDL

E [email protected]
P (03) 9035 7243 (Please ensure area code is included)
F (03) 9349 5105

Associate Professor Qiao-Xin Li, Principal Research Fellow
National Dementia Diagnostics Laboratory
The Florey
Kenneth Myer Building
30 Royal Parade (corner of Genetics Lane)
Enter via Gate 11, rear loading dock
Parkville Victoria 3010

The NDDL is closed on public holidays. Please hold all diagnostic samples at 4 degrees Celsius during affected periods. Contact the NDDL for further information about the Specimen.

NDDL management

Professor Steven Collins – Director/Designated person
Professor Colin Masters – Delegated Medical Specialist
Associate Professor Qiao-Xin Li – Co-Manager AD screen
Dr Christiane Stehmann – Co-Manager CJD screen
Dr Ian Birchall – Quality Manager
Ms Shannon Gaspari – Assistant Quality Manager

Research and postdoctoral fellows

Dr Laura Ellett – Research Scientist
Dr Vicki Lewis  –Research Scientist
Dr Matteo Senesi – Research Scientist

Research and technical staff

Ms Amelia McGlade – Research Assistant CJD screen
Ms Shiji Varghese – Research Assistant AD screen