Escorts Role Narrowed in Alzheimer's Disease

Plasma clusterin's significance is limited to two phases of Alzheimer's Disease

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Do high levels of plasma clusterin in a person free of Alzheimer's Disease indicate a risk of developing Alzheimer's disease?

Dr. Elizabeth Schrijvers, M.D. suggested that prior studies indicated a connection between the presence of plasma clusterin and the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease, but her recent study refuted those findings.

Dr. Schrijvers found increased levels of clusterin isn't followed with the development of Alzheimer's Disease.

"Plasma clusterin is not associated with a risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease"

Patients with rapidly advancing Alzheimer's Disease (AD) have high levels of this plasma clusterin, which is an escort protein that makes sure amyloid makes its train to the brain and does the dirty work of making amyloid plaques. The presence of amyloid plaques is a hallmark of Alzheimer's Disease.

In a 10-year prospective study, plasma clusterin levels were associated with baseline prevalence and severity of advancing Alzheimer's Disease, but wasn't associated with a risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease.  

In Depth

  • Between 1997 and 1999, as part of a study within the Rotterdam Study, 60 patients with prevalent AD and a random group of 926 non-AD people had plasma clusterin levels measured to establish a baseline.
  • The original two groups and an additional group of 156 patients with AD had their plasma clusterin levels measured during the follow-up lasting until January 1, 2007.
  • In the groups of patients with AD, higher clusterin levels were found in patients with severe disease symptoms.
  • In the population without an Alzheimer's diagnosis in the 1990's, a presence of plasma clusterin in their samples was not an indicator of developing Alzheimer's within the 10 year time frame of the study or within 3 years after the baseline levels were taken.
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 12, 2011
Last Updated:
April 13, 2011