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J Psychiatr Res. 2013 May;47(5):644-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.01.014. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

Decreased mean platelet volume and platelet distribution width are associated with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Geriatrics, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China.


Neuroinflammation is a critical driving force underlying mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathologies. Activated platelets play an important role in neuroinflammation and have been implicated in AD pathogenic mechanisms. Mean platelet volume (MPV), a marker of platelet activation, is involved in the pathophysiology of a variety of pro-inflammatory diseases. However, little research has been conducted to investigate the relationship between platelet indices and MCI and AD pathogenesis. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated the levels of platelet count, MPV and platelet distribution width (PDW) in 120 AD patients, 120 MCI patients, and 120 non-demented controls. Our study showed that MPV and PDW were significantly lower in patients with AD as compared with either MCI or controls. Moreover, MCI patients had lower MPV and PDW values compared with the controls (P < 0.001). In addition, there is a positive correlation between mini-mental state examination (MMSE) and MPV and PDW, after adjusting age, gender, and body mass index (r = 0.576, P < 0.001 for MPV; r = 0.465, P < 0.001 for PDW, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that MPV and PDW were significantly associated with MMSE (β = 0.462; P < 0.001 for MPV; β = 0.245; P < 0.001 for PDW; respectively). In conclusion, MPV and PDW were decreased in MCI and AD patients. Further prospective research is warranted to determine the potential clinical application of MPV and PDW as biomarkers in the early diagnosis of AD.

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