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Clusterin Lacks Biomarker Potential for Alzheimer's

Plasma clusterin levels associated with prevalence and severity, but do not precede disease

WEDNESDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Plasma clusterin levels are significantly associated with prevalence and severity of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but not with incidence, according to a study published in the April 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Elisabeth M.C. Schrijvers, M.D., from the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues assessed the use of plasma clusterin as a biomarker for the presence, severity, and risk of AD in participants from the Rotterdam Study. Plasma clusterin levels were measured in 60 participants with AD at baseline, 156 participants diagnosed with AD during follow-up (average 7.2 years), and in a subcohort of 926 individuals. AD prevalence, severity (measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE] score), and risk of development during follow-up were the main outcomes studied.

The investigators found that, after adjusting for confounders, the likelihood of prevalent AD increased as levels of plasma clusterin increased (odds ratio per standard deviation [SD] increase of plasma clusterin level, 1.63). Increased clusterin levels in patients with AD were correlated with more severe disease (adjusted difference in MMSE score per SD increase in clusterin levels, −1.36; P = 0.047). Plasma clusterin levels were not found to be related to risk of incident AD within three years of baseline or after total follow-up (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.09 and 1.00, respectively).

"Increased plasma clusterin levels are associated with prevalent AD and are higher in more severe cases of AD. However, increased levels of clusterin do not precede development of AD and therefore are not a potential early marker of subclinical disease," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed a financial relationship with Pfizer, which partially funded the study.

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