Recent studies indicate that small amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) oligomers are the major toxic species responsible for development and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Therefore, we suggest that the number of Aβ oligomers in body fluids is the most direct and relevant biomarker for AD. Determination of the Aβ oligomer content of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from 14 AD patients and 12 age-matched controls revealed a clear distinction between both groups. All samples of the control group showed homogenously low numbers of Aβ oligomers, while the samples of the AD group exhibited significantly higher levels of Aβ oligomers. The Aβ oligomer numbers correlated with the patients' Mini-Mental State Examination scores. This indicates that the quantity of Aβ oligomers in CSF reflects the severity of the disease and that Aβ oligomers play a crucial role in AD pathology and in turn can be used as a diagnostic biomarker.