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Increased serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in women with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
2011 (English)In: International psychogeriatrics, ISSN 1041-6102, E-ISSN 1741-203X, Vol. 23, no 9, 1386-1392 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: It has been suggested that hypercortisolism contributes to the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD), based on the fact that excess glucocorticoid exposure has potent adverse effects on the central nervous system. In contrast, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has been linked to a broad range of beneficial physiological effects including neuronal excitability and neuroprotection and even memory enhancing properties. Of note, proinflammatory cytokines are present in neuritic plaques (a hallmark of AD) and may regulate cortisol/DHEA release. In this exploratory study, we hypothesized that there is a flattened diurnal curve of cortisol and DHEA in mild to moderate AD, linked to increased cytokine levels.

Methods: Diurnal profiles of cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and DHEA were studied in 15 patients with mild to moderate AD (7 men and 8 women, 75.6 ± 5.5 years) and 15 healthy elderly controls (7 men and 8 women, 73.3 ± 5.8 years, respectively). Interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and soluble TNF receptors were analyzed.

Results: Women with AD had significantly increased morning levels of ACTH, DHEA, and IL-6 compared to healthy elderly women. Cortisol levels were significantly increased in men with AD at 0300 h versus healthy elderly men, in spite of slightly decreased ACTH levels.

Conclusions: Our data suggest important sex differences in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulation and steroid hormone clearance in patients with AD. Increased secretion of IL-6 may have a contributory role in this difference.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Springer , 2011. Vol. 23, no 9, 1386-1392 p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-47982DOI: 10.1017/S1041610211000810PubMedID: 21729423OAI: diva2:445942
Available from: 2011-10-05 Created: 2011-10-05 Last updated: 2011-11-14Bibliographically approved

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