Astrocytes are the most abundant cell type in the human central nervous system, and they play an important role in the regulation of neuronal physiology. In neurological disorders, astrocyte disintegration leads to the release of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) from tissue into the bloodstream. Elevated serum levels of GFAP can serve as blood biomarkers, and a useful prognostic tool to facilitate the early diagnosis of several neurological diseases ranging from stroke to neurodegenerative disorders. This systematic review synthesizes studies published between January 2012 and September 2021 that used GFAP as a potential blood biomarker to detect neurological disorders. The following electronic databases were accessed: MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Science. In all the databases, the following search strategy was used: "GFAP" OR "glial fibrillary acidic protein" AND "neurological" OR "neurodegenerative" AND "plasma" OR "serum". The initial search identified 1152 articles. After the exclusion criteria were applied, 48 publications that reported GFAP levels in neurological disorders were identified. A total of 16 different neurological disorders that have plasmatic GFAP levels as a possible biomarker for the disease were described in the articles, being: multiple sclerosis, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson disease, COVID-19, epileptic seizures, Wilson Disease, diabetic ketoacidosis, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, major depressive disorder, glioblastoma, spinal cord injury, asthma, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder and Friedreich's ataxia. This review shows an association between GFAP levels and the disease being studied, suggesting that elevated GFAP levels are a potentially valuable diagnostic biomarker in the evaluation of different neurological diseases.

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