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PLoS One. 2014 Apr 8;9(4):e94084. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094084. eCollection 2014.

Serum uric acid levels in patients with Alzheimer's disease: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Neurology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu Sichuan, China.



Serum uric acid (UA) could exert neuro-protective effects against Alzheimer's disease (AD) via its antioxidant capacities. Many studies investigated serum UA levels in AD patients, but to date, results from these observational studies are conflicting.


We conducted a meta-analysis to compare serum UA levels between AD patients and healthy controls by the random-effects model. Studies were identified by searching PubMed, ISI Web of Science, EMBASE, and the Cochrane library databases from 1966 through July 2013 using the Medical Subject Headings and keywords without restriction in languages. Only case-control studies were included if they had data on serum UA levels in AD patients and healthy controls. Begg's funnel plot and Egger's regression test were applied to assess the potential publication bias. Sensitivity analyses and meta-regression were conducted to explore possible explanations for heterogeneity.


A total of 11 studies met the inclusion criteria including 2708 participants were abstracted. Serum UA levels were not significantly different in AD patients compared to healthy controls (standardized mean difference (SMD) = -0.50; 95% confidence interval (CI): -1.23 to 0.22). Little evidence of publication bias was observed. Sensitivity analyses showed that the combined SMD was consistent every time omitting any one study, except only one study which greatly influenced the overall results. Meta-regression showed that year of publication, race, sample size, and mean age were not significant sources of heterogeneity.


Our meta-analysis of case-control studies suggests that serum UA levels do not differ significantly in AD patients, but there may be a trend toward decreased UA in AD after an appropriate interpretation. More well-designed investigations are needed to demonstrate the potential change of serum UA levels in AD patients.

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