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Immunological Associations in Familial and Non-Familial Alzheimer Patients and Their Families

     M.F. Frecker, W.E.M. Pryse-Phillips and H.R. Strong

Abstract:   A number of autoimmune diseases and immune-related conditions were investigated in a series of 100 Alzheimer patients and their families. The group was divided into those who had familial dementia of the Alzheimer type and non-familial dementia of the Alzheimer type. HLA DR3 was associated with the familial dementia of the Alzheimer type patients. Adult exposure to tuberculosis appeared to be a risk factor for familial dementia of the Alzheimer type patients. Autoimmune diseases clustered among the non-familial dementia of the Alzheimer type patients, and also among their relatives. Asthma and infertility were also significantly increased among non-familial dementia of the Alzheimer type relatives. The analysis showed that (1) autoimmunity may be important in the sporadic form of Alzheimer disease; (2) it may be possible to confer a decreased risk for Alzheimer disease among relatives when many autoimmune diseases occur in the family; (3) it may be important to assess environmental risk factors for Alzheimer disease separately in patients with familial and sporadic disease; and (4) the efficacy of drug therapies may be dependent on whether the patients have a familial or sporadic form of Alzheimer disease.

Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1994; 21: 112-119

 


 
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