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J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;33(3):823-9. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-121528.

Oxidative stress in Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment with high sensitivity and specificity.

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  • 1Clinical Laboratory, General University Hospital of Elche, Alicante, Spain.


Some studies have determined that oxidative stress is a decisive factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and even suggested that it is present in the initial phase of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The aim of our study was to investigate the process of oxidative stress by measuring the level of malondialdehyde (MDA), the specific activity of two peripheral antioxidant defenses (superoxide dismutase (SOD) and ceruloplasmin), and the level of copper in AD and MCI patients and compare those results with healthy subjects. The sample group consisted of 36 patients with AD, 18 patients with MCI, and 33 healthy aged subjects. Blood samples were obtained from each subject. A significantly higher copper level was found in patients with AD and MCI compared to the control group. The levels of MDA showed a similar trend and were higher in patients from the AD and MCI groups than in the control group. It was found that both studied parameters had positive correlation in the whole studied population (r = 0.340; p = 0.001). A stepwise logistic regression analysis was used to identify an optimal combination of these biomarkers. The optimal biomarker combinations were MDA and SOD with area under the curve of 0.803 (0.691-0.915, CI 95%, p < 0.001) for the diagnosis of AD. The optimal cutpoint yielded 88.0% Sensitivity and 70.0% Specificity. The biomarker combinations predicted AD and were markedly superior to individual biomarkers. Our findings support the hypothesis that oxidative stress might represent a sign of AD pathology and could be an early event in the progression of MCI to AD.

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