Abstract: The principal constituent of amyloid plaques found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a 39–42-amino-acid protein, amyloid β protein (Aβ). This study examined whether the measurement of Aβ levels in CSF has diagnostic value. There were 108 subjects enrolled in this prospective study: AD (n = 39), non-AD controls (dementing diseases/syndromes; n = 20), and other (n = 49). CSF was obtained by lumbar puncture, and Aβ concentrations were determined using a dual monoclonal antibody immunoradiometric sandwich assay. The mean Aβ value for the AD group (15.9 ± 6.8 ng/ml) was not significantly different from that for the non-AD control group (13.0 ± 7.1 ng/ml; p = 0.07), and substantial overlap in results were observed. Aβ values did not correlate with age (r = −0.05, p = 0.59), severity of cognitive impairment (r = 0.22, p = 0.21), or duration of AD symptoms (r = 0.14, p = 0.45). These findings are in conflict with other reports in the literature; discrepant results could be due to the instability of Aβ in CSF. Aβ immunoreactivity decays rapidly under certain conditions, particularly multiple freeze/thaw cycles. Use of a stabilizing sample treatment buffer at the time of lumbar puncture allows storage of CSF without loss of Aβ reactivity. In conclusion, the total CSF Aβ level is not a useful marker for current diagnosis of AD.