Although a large body of evidence supports a role of oxidative stress in the etiopathogenesis of dementia, there is still a substantial lack of data regarding the biomarkers of oxidative stress characteristic of Alzheimer's disease (AD) as opposed to different types of dementia. In this study, the level of various oxidative stress parameters were measured in AD, vascular dementia (VaD), and age- and sex-matched control patients. The AD and VaD patients all had similar levels of cognitive impairment as measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination.
Thirty AD, 19 VaD and 29 controls patients were recruited to the study. Plasma levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), total sulfhydryl (T-SH), calcium (Ca(++)) and magnesium (Mg(++)) were measured.
In both AD and VaD groups, the levels of oxidative stress parameters were higher compared with controls. Further, the VaD patients expressed significantly higher levels of plasma parameters of oxidative stress than AD. The difference was noted in MDA, the marker of lipid peroxidation, whereas in VaD the level of MDA was more than 2.8-fold higher than that registered in AD patients.
Vascular dementia in patients is characteristic of increased levels of oxidative stress, especially lipid peroxidation markers. This finding is relevant to determining the pathophysiology of dementia, particularly in the light of the recently suggested importance of the vascular component in dementia development, in addition to aiding in the diagnosis of VaD following clinical presentation. The study will be continued to compare the character and level of decline in both groups.