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Immunol Lett. 2008 May 15;117(2):198-202. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2008.02.002. Epub 2008 Mar 7.

Differences of peripheral inflammatory markers between mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avenida de la Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


Multiple pathogenic factors may contribute to the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Peripheral markers have been used to assess biochemical alterations associated with AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) involved in its pathophysiology. The present study was conducted to evaluate inflammatory peripheral markers in elderly patients with MCI, patients with AD and normal elderly subjects. We measured plasma levels of different cytokines (IL-6, TNF-alpha and IFN-alpha) and platelet levels of cyclooxigenase-2 (COX-2) from 34 patients with MCI, 45 patients with AD and 28 age-matched control subjects. MCI and AD patients showed similarities in TNF-alpha and COX-2 levels, and differences in IL-6 and INF-alpha. Whereas augmented IL-6 levels have been found in AD patients, a significant increase in INF-alpha has been detected only in patients with MCI possibly associated with the depression stage frequently found in cognitive impairment. In conclusion, inflammatory response may be an early factor in AD development and these changes in circulating markers are possibly related to the progression of MCI to AD.

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