Cortisol and IgA are Involved in the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. A Pilot Study

  • José Enrique de la Rubia OrtíEmail author
  • Vicente Prado-Gascó
  • Sandra Sancho Castillo
  • Mariano Julián-Rochina
  • Francisco J. Romero Gómez
  • María Pilar García-PardoEmail author
Brief Communication


It is known that stress and immune systems are related with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the relationship of both systems in the progression of disease is not clearly demonstrated. Hair cortisol and salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA) were quantified in 49 patients with mild, moderate, and severe AD. A significant change was seen in both molecules as AD progressed from mild to moderate and severe. Low levels of cortisol were observed in mild AD patients compared with moderate and severe. However, IgA showed a contrary pattern. High levels were observed in mild AD patientes but low in moderate and severe AD subjects. The secretion of cortisol and IgA seems to be very different at the start compared with posterior development of AD suggesting that neuroinflammation can be involved. Both molecules could be used as possible therapeutical tools.


Alzheimer’s disease Stress Immune system Cortisol Immunoglobulin A Neuroinflammation Progression 



Alzheimer’s disease


Asociacion Familiares Alzheimer Valencia


Cerebrospinal fluid


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent


Immunoglobulin A


Mini Mental State Examination



The researchers of this study are grateful to all participants for their collaboration in the project. A special thank you to AFAV Association for providing the places and professionals to collect the data.

Consent for Publication

This manuscript has been read and approved by all authors, has not been previously published, and is not under simultaneous consideration by another journal. The authors give consent for publication in Molecular Neurodegeneration.

Availability of Data and Materials

Materials and/or datasets used/generated are included in the manuscript or available upon reasonable request.


The authors declare that this work is original and has not been published elsewhere nor is it currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Author Contributions

JERO and MPGP conceived and designed the experiments and were responsible for the interpretation of the results; Mariano JR performed, analyzed the data, and made the figure of the results; SSC performed the ELISA technique. VPG and FJR wrote the first draft of the paper and JERO and MPGP wrote the final version of the manuscript.


This study was supported with funding from the company Alquería Ortí C.B and partially by Grant PROMETEO 94/2016 of the Generalitat Valenciana.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethics Approval

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Universidad de Valencia and all participants signed informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Enrique de la Rubia Ortí
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vicente Prado-Gascó
    • 2
  • Sandra Sancho Castillo
    • 1
  • Mariano Julián-Rochina
    • 3
  • Francisco J. Romero Gómez
    • 4
  • María Pilar García-Pardo
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of NursingCatholic University of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  3. 3.Faculty of Nursing and PodologyUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  4. 4.European University of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  5. 5.Department of Psychology and SociologyUniversity of ZaragozaTeruelSpain

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