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.