June 26, 2013
Oxidative stress or free radical pathology has been found elevated in many diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. There are many markers that can be tested to determine oxidative stress levels. This study looked at three groups with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and a control group. Blood measurements of malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), ceruloplasmin (CP), and copper were measured in all three groups. MDA is a marker of oxidative damage. The further MDA is elevated the higher amounts of oxidative damage is present. SOD and CP are antioxidants made by the body to counteract the effects of oxidative stress. The lower the levels of these the higher the amount of oxidative stress. Copper, although and trace element and needed in small quantities, can cause oxidative stress in higher amounts and is often used as a oxidative stress marker.
According to the authors, “A significantly higher copper level was found in patients with AD and MCI compared to the control group. The levels of MDA showed a similar trend and were higher in patients from the AD and MCI (mild cognitive impairment) groups than in the control group… Our findings support the hypothesis that oxidative stress might represent a sign of AD pathology and could be an early event in the progression of MCI to AD.”
Oxidative stress in Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment with high sensitivity and specificity. J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;33(3):823-9.