Cerebrospinal fluid levels of thiamine in patients with Alzheimer's disease

J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2002 Jul;109(7-8):1035-44. doi: 10.1007/s007020200087.


Thiamine is an essential cofactor for several important enzymes involved in brain oxidative metabolism, such as the alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (KGDHC), pyruvate-dehydrogenase complex (PDHC), and transketolase. Some investigators reported decreased thiamine-diphosphate levels and decreased activities of KGDHC, pyruvate-dehydrogenase complex and transketolase in the brain tissue of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. We measured cerebrospinal (CSF) levels of thiamine-diphosphate, thiamine-monophosphate, free thiamine, and total thiamine, using ion-pair reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography, in 33 patients with sporadic AD and 32 matched controls. The mean CSF levels of thiamine-derivatives did not differ significantly from those of controls, while the mean plasma levels of thiamine-diphosphate, free and total thiamine were significantly lower in the AD-patient group. CSF and plasma thiamine levels were not correlated with age, age at onset, duration of the disease, and scores of the MiniMental State Examination, with the exception of plasma thiamine-diphosphate with MiniMental State Examination (r = 0.41, p < 0.05) in the AD-patients group. CSF and plasma values did not predict dementia progression, assessed with the MiniMental State Examination scores. These results suggest that CSF thiamine levels are not related with the risk for and the progression of AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / blood
  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Factors
  • Thiamine / blood
  • Thiamine / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Thiamine Monophosphate / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Thiamine Pyrophosphate / blood


  • Thiamine Monophosphate
  • Thiamine Pyrophosphate
  • Thiamine