Longitudinal analysis of serum copper and ceruloplasmin in Alzheimer's disease

J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;34(1):171-82. doi: 10.3233/JAD-121474.


Background: Several studies have reported that peripheral levels of copper and ceruloplasmin (CP) can differentiate patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) from non-AD cases. The aim of this study was to determine the diagnostic value of serum copper, CP, and non-CP copper levels in a large cohort of AD subjects.

Methods: Serum copper and CP concentrations were measured at baseline and at 18-months in participants from the Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study of Ageing. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses were conducted using both univariate and multivariate testing adjusting for age, gender, total protein, and ApoE ε4 genotype status.

Results: There was no significant difference in levels of serum copper or CP between the AD and healthy control groups, however, we identified a near-significant decrease in non-CP copper in the mild cognitive impairment and AD groups at baseline (p = 0.02) that was significant at 18-months (p = 0.003).

Conclusion: Our results suggest that there may be decreased non-CP copper levels in mild cognitive impairment and AD, which is consistent with diminished copper-dependent biochemical activities described in AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / blood*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Ceruloplasmin / metabolism*
  • Cognition Disorders / blood
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Copper / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Thiazoles


  • 2-(4'-(methylamino)phenyl)-6-hydroxybenzothiazole
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Thiazoles
  • Copper
  • Ceruloplasmin