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Neurobiol Aging. 2012 May;33(5):1009.e11-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2011.10.021. Epub 2011 Dec 1.

Impact of chronic Helicobacter pylori infection on Alzheimer's disease: preliminary results.

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Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale U853, Bordeaux, France.


Recent case-control studies reported an association between H. pylori infection and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our aim was to compare cognitive impairment, neuroinflammation, and cerebrovascular lesion load in a group of AD patients according to their H. pylori status. For the 53 AD patients included, we assessed: clinical data (vascular comorbidities and cognitive assessment), biological data (especially fibrinogen, homocysteine levels, apolipoprotein E4 genotype; cerebrospinal fluid [CSF] total tau protein [Tau], phospho-tau(181) protein [pTau(181)]), and amyloid beta peptide levels, serum/CSF-cytokines (interleukin [IL]-1β, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α) and pepsinogen I/pepsinogen II (PgI/PgII) ratio, and cerebrovascular lesion load (magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] fluid-attenuated inversion recovery [FLAIR] with the Fazekas and Schmidt scale). H. pylori infection was diagnosed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunoblot test. H. pylori infection was associated with a decreased Mini Mental State Examination (MMS) (p = 0.024), and higher CSF pTau(181) (p = 0.014) and tau (p = 0.021) levels. A decreased PgI/II ratio (i.e., an increased gastric atrophy) was associated with the infection (p = 0.005). Homocysteine levels were positively correlated to Fazekas score (r = 0.34; p = 0.032) and to H. pylori immunoglobulin (Ig)G levels (r = 0.44; p = 0.001). Higher CSF cytokine levels (IL-8, p = 0.003; TNF-α, p = 0.019) were associated with the infection, but systemic inflammation results were controversial. Finally, in multivariate analysis, a lower MMSE score (odds ratio [OR], 0.83 [0.72-0.97]; p = 0.017), plasma IL-1β level (OR, 0.31 [0.11-0.87]; p = 0.025), an increased gastric atrophy, i.e., a lower PgI/PgII ratio (OR, 0.63 [0.43-0.93]; p = 0.020) were still associated with the infection. AD patients infected by H. pylori tended to be more cognitively impaired. Studies are needed to attest to the impact of H. pylori infection on AD course, especially on cerebrovascular lesions and neuroinflammation.

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