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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2010 Jul-Aug;51(1):e16-8. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2009.07.001. Epub 2009 Aug 8.

Decreased dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) concentrations in plasma of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients.

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School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.


DHEA is secreted by the adrenal cortex and is also a neurosteroid. Its sulfate (DHEAS) is the most abundant steroid in circulation. The levels of both are seen to decline in concentration with age. Evidence is available for altered levels of DHEA and DHEAS in AD but is limited to relatively few studies assessing small cohorts. This study assessed plasma DHEA and DHEAS levels in AD sufferers (n=72) and compared them to age-matched controls (n=72). Plasma DHEA concentrations were significantly lower in AD patients compared to control (4.24+/-0.4 ng/ml for AD; 3.38+/-0.3 ng/ml for control, p=0.027, Mann-Whitney 1-tailed) and DHEA levels were significantly correlated to DHEAS levels in both control and AD conditions (Spearman's rho correlation coefficient=0.635 in controls and 0.467 in AD, p<or=0.01). This study highlighted a measurable difference in DHEA and DHEAS concentrations in plasma from a large cohort of patients suffering from AD when compared to age-matched controls.

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