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J Neurol. 2011 Aug;258(8):1460-3. doi: 10.1007/s00415-011-5957-5. Epub 2011 Feb 19.

The relationship between Helicobacter pylori infection and Alzheimer's disease in Japan.

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  • 1Department of General Medicine, Oita University Faculty of Medicine, 1-1 Idaigaoka, Hasama-machi, Yufu, Oita 879-5593, Japan.


Although two studies have indicated a possible link between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, these were reported from Europe, where the prevalence of H. pylori infection is not very high. In this study, the prevalence of H. pylori infection was examined in AD patients in Japan, where there is a high prevalence of H. pylori. Consecutive patients referred to the Memory and Dementia Outpatient Clinic from August 2002 to March 2009 were studied. H. pylori infection status was determined by measuring urinary levels of anti-H. pylori antibody (RAPIRUN(®)). Multiple stepwise logistic regression analyses were used to examine the associations of AD with the main predictor variables. Of the 917 patients who visited the clinic, 385 were diagnosed as having AD. Ninety-seven patients did not have dementia and were considered controls. On univariate analysis, average age and the proportion of males were significantly higher in AD patients than in controls. There was no difference in the prevalence of H. pylori infection between patients with AD and controls (62.0% vs. 59.7%, p = 0.67, crude odds ratio (OR), 1.10). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that older age and male sex, but not H. pylori status, were significantly associated with AD (p < 0.001, p = 0.01, p = 0.83, respectively). The prevalence of H. pylori infection did not differ between AD patients and controls among Japanese subjects. The high prevalence of H. pylori in controls may contribute to the discrepancy with previous reports.

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