Serum autoantibodies in patients with Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia and in nondemented control subjects.
In this study we sought to evaluate the clinical significance of serum autoantibodies to dementing processes.
We assessed 40 age-matched subjects: 10 patients with probable Alzheimer's disease, 10 with possible Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease, 10 with vascular dementia, and 10 nondemented control subjects. Serum from each subject was tested for the presence of antithyroglobulin antibody, thyroid antimicrosomal antibody, gastric anti-parietal cell antibody, anti-smooth muscle antibody, antinuclear antibody, rheumatoid factor, antineuronal antibody, and anticardiolipin antibody. In addition, we investigated the sera of these patients for the presence of an antivascular antibody directed against the vascular basement membrane proteoglycan antigen and for circulating immune complexes.
Autoantibodies were present in 100% of the patients with possible Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease, 80% of those with vascular dementia, 40% of those with probable Alzheimer's disease, and 30% of the nondemented control subjects. The highest number of autoantibodies was observed in patients with vascular dementia and possible Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease. Antinuclear antibody was present in 60% of vascular dementia patients and antineuronal antibody in 50% of these patients. However, no individual autoantibody could differentiate Alzheimer's disease from cerebrovascular disorders. Immune complexes were detected in the serum of 20-30% of each patient group. Neither the patient nor the control sera was found to contain antiendothelial antibody.
Despite the relatively small number of individuals examined in each category, the elevated number of autoantibodies associated with possible Alzheimer's disease with cerebrovascular disease and vascular dementia indicates a possible link between the presence of autoantibodies and cerebrovascular disorders in dementia.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association