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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2017 Dec;86:169-175. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.09.018. Epub 2017 Sep 21.

Low serum insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) level is associated with increased risk of vascular dementia.

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Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, SE-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden.
Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, SE-431 80 Mölndal, Sweden.
Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, SE-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden. Electronic address:



Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is important for the adult brain, but little is known of the role of IGF-I in Alzheimeŕs disease (AD) or vascular dementia (VaD).


A prospective study of 342 patients with subjective or objective mild cognitive impairment recruited at a single memory clinic. We determined whether serum IGF-I concentrations at baseline were associated with the risk of all-cause dementia, AD, or VaD. Patients developing mixed forms of AD and VaD were defined as suffering from VaD. The statistical analyses included Cox proportional hazards regression analysis.


During the follow-up (mean 3.6 years), 95 (28%) of the patients developed all-cause dementia [AD, n=37 (11%) and VaD, n=42 (12%)]. Low as well as high serum IGF-I (quartile 1 or 4 vs. quartiles 2-3) did not associate with all-cause dementia [crude hazard ratio (HR) 1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.81-2.08 and crude HR 1.05, 95% CI: 0.63-1.75, respectively] or AD (crude HR 0.79, 95% CI: 0.35-1.79 and crude HR 0.94, 95% CI: 0.43-2.06, respectively]. In contrast, low serum IGF-I concentrations were associated with increased risk of VaD (quartile 1 vs. quartiles 2-3, crude HR 2.22, 95% CI: 1.13-4.36). The latter association remained significant also after adjustment for multiple covariates.


In a memory clinic population, low serum IGF-I was a risk marker for subsequent VaD whereas low IGF-I did not associate with the risk of AD. High serum IGF-I was not related to the risk of conversion to dementia.


Alzheimeŕs disease; IGF-I; Mild cognitive impairment; Serum; Vascular dementia

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