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Int J Mol Epidemiol Genet 2011;2(2):114-121.

Original Article
Plasma alkaline phosphatase is elevated in Alzheimer’s disease and inversely
correlates with cognitive function

Katherine A.B. Kellett, Jonathan Williams, Emma R.L.C. Vardy, A. David Smith, Nigel M. Hooper

Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK;
OPTIMA, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.

Received November 31, 2010; accepted January 30, 2011; Epub February 10, 2010; published April 30, 2011

Abstract: Alkaline phosphatase is present on neuronal membranes and plasma alkaline phosphatase activity increases in
brain injury and cerebrovascular disease, suggesting that plasma alkaline phosphatase may partly reflect neuronal loss. As
neuronal loss occurs in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), we hypothesised that alterations in plasma alkaline phosphatase activity
may correlate with cognitive impairment. Plasma alkaline phosphatase activity was measured in the longitudinal Oxford Project
to Investigate Memory and Aging (OPTIMA) cohort (121 AD patients, 89 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients and 180 control
subjects). Plasma alkaline phosphatase activity was significantly higher in the AD patients relative to the controls (p<0.001). In
the MCI patients, plasma alkaline phosphatase was at a level in between that seen in control and AD subjects, consistent with
the clinical status of this group. Furthermore, plasma alkaline phosphatase activity inversely correlated with cognitive function
(assessed by the Cambridge Examination for Mental Disorders (CAMCOG)) in controls (z= -2.21 p=0.028), MCI (z= -2.10, p=0.
036) and AD patients (z= -2.19, p=0.028). These data indicate that plasma alkaline phosphatase activity is increased in AD and
inversely correlates with cognitive function regardless of diagnostic status. (IJMEG1011003).

Key words: alkaline phosphatase; Alzheimer’s; cognitive function; mild cognitive impairment; plasma

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Address all correspondence to:
Nigel M. Hooper, PhD
Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Faculty of Biological Sciences
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.
Tel. +44 113 343 3163; fax. +44 113 343 5638