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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Dec;97(12):4673-81. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-2063. Epub 2012 Sep 26.

Insulin-like growth factor-I and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 in Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Broca Hospital, Department of Geriatrics, 54-56 rue Pascal, 75013 Paris, France.



Few large studies have been conducted to assess the relationship between circulating IGF and late-life cognition.


The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between IGF-I and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) serum levels and cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer's disease (AD).


In this multicentric cross-sectional study, 694 elderly subjects (218 men, 476 women; 78.6 ± 6.7 yr old) were included; 481 had memory complaints and were diagnosed, after comprehensive cognitive assessment, with AD (n = 224) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (n = 257). The control group was comprised of 213 subjects without memory complaint and with normal cognition (recruited among patients' caregivers). IGF-I and IGFBP-3 serum levels were determined by ELISA.


IGF-I and IGFBP-3 serum levels were significantly associated with cognitive status in men (IGF-I, 137 ± 69 ng/ml for AD vs. 178 ± 88 ng/ml for MCI and 172 ± 91 ng/ml for controls, P = 0.01; IGFBP-3, 3675 ± 1542 ng/ml for AD vs. 4143 ± 1828 ng/ml for MCI and 4488 ± 1893 ng/ml for controls, P = 0.04). In women, IGFBP-3 was significantly associated with cognitive status (3781 ± 1351 ng/ml for AD vs. 4190 ± 1408 ng/ml for MCI and 4390 ± 1552 ng/ml for controls; P < 0.001), but no significant differences between groups for IGF-I occurred. After adjustment for confounding variables (age, educational level, body mass index, diabetes, apolipoprotein E ε4 status), logistic regression indicated that IGF-I [odds ratio (95% confidence interval) = 0.48 (0.26-0.88)] and IGFBP-3 [odds ratio (95% confidence interval) = 0.71 (0.52-0.97)] serum levels were independently associated with AD in men, but not in women.


We report a significant association between low IGF-I and IGFBP-3 serum levels and AD in men, but not in women.


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