Physiol. Res. 53: 449-452, 2004

Alterations in Calcium Homeostasis as Biological Marker for Mild Alzheimer´s Disease?


1Laboratory of Biochemistry, Prague Psychiatric Center, 2Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Charles University, 3Psychiatric Clinic of the First Medical Faculty, Charles University and 4Third Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Received May 5, 2003
Accepted September 15, 2003

The calcium hypothesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer´s disease (AD) suggests that altered cytosolic Ca2+ levels ([Ca2+]i) and/or disturbances in Ca2+ homeostasis concern cellular mechanisms underlying neuronal pathology. To search for a diagnostic marker of Alzheimer´s disease, we measured cytosolic calcium concentrations in platelets of AD patients, age-matched control subjects (AMC), and vascular dementia (VD) patients. The ([Ca2+]i) was determined using long wavelength indicator Fluo-3AM in 21 mild AD patients, 17 AMC, and 23 patients with VD. The basal values of [Ca2+]i were significantly lower in AD compared to AMC. After the addition of 1 mM calcium, the [Ca2+]i markedly increased in platelets of AD compared to AMC and VD. Measurement of calcium homeostasis could provide a very sensitive, but less specific biological marker of AD. These results support the hypothesis that influencing calcium homeostasis may provide a therapeutic strategy in dementia.

Key words
Alzheimer´s disease • Vascular dementia • Platelets • Calcium homeostasis • Biological marker

© 2004 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences