[Transthyretin levels in serum and cerebrospinal fluid sustain the nutrio-viral hypothesis of the Cuban epidemic neuropathy].Rev Neurol 2000 Nov 1-15; 31(9):801-4RN
Transthyretin is considered an excellent marker for monitoring nutritional status in serum. In cerebrospinal fluid it is synthesized by chroroid plexus. Cuban epidemic neuropathy is an emergent disease with a hypothetically viral and nutritional origin.
To know the behavior of this transport molecule in serum and cerebrospinal fluid in patients with Cuban epidemic neuropathy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Serum and cerebrospinal fluid was quantified in 11 patients with Cuban epidemic neuropathy, eight patients suffering from other neuropathies and 15 patients with Down's syndrome and 10 patients with Alzheimer's disease.
Serum transthyretin was diminished in patients with Cuban epidemic neuropathy, other neuropathies and Alzheimer's disease. Down's syndrome patients had significantly higher transthyretin levels in comparison with Cuban epidemic neuropathy and Alzheimer's disease. Cerebrospinal fluid transthyretin was significantly increased in patients with Cuban epidemic neuropathy in comparison with the normal values and with Alzheimer's disease patients whose values were settled below the normal values.
The decrement of serum transthyretin in Cuban epidemic neuropathy indicates malnutrition and its higher levels in cerebrospinal fluid also indicate a viral infection. These findings support the nutrio-viral hypothesis of the disease.