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


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.

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Fig. 1
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Alzheimer’s disease


Asociacion Familiares Alzheimer Valencia


Cerebrospinal fluid


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent


Immunoglobulin A


Mini Mental State Examination


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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.

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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.

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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.


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

Author information




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.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to José Enrique de la Rubia Ortí or María Pilar García-Pardo.

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

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Annexed 1: Declaración de Consentimiento Informado

Annexed 1: Declaración de Consentimiento Informado

--------, a------ de-------- de 2017

D. /Dña ………………………, de …. años de edad y con DNI nº ……….., manifiesta que ha sido informado/a de que el proyecto sigue la normativa de la Declaración de Helsinki de 1964 y de sus posteriores actualizaciones (la más reciente hecha en Brasil, octubre de 2013), así mismo ha sido informado sobre los beneficios psicológicos y de salud fisica que podría suponer la participación en el Proyecto “Estudio longitudinal del estado neurofisiológico y cognitivo en pacientes institucionalizados con demencia tipo Alzheimer. Aplicación de terapias no farmacológicas en la mejora de la enfermedad” para las áreas personal, social y familiar del paciente y para la investigación en psicología. Así mismo manifiesta que ha sido informado/a del tipo de pruebas y procedimientos que se le aplicarán a su familiar y de los objetivos del proyecto, y de que se participa sin ánimo de lucro.

Manifiesta que también ha sido informado/a que sus datos personales y los de su familiar serán protegidos e incluidos en un fichero que deberá estar sometido a y con las garantías de la ley 15/1999 de 13 de diciembre.

Tomando ello en consideración, OTORGO mi CONSENTIMIENTO a participar en esta investigación.


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de la Rubia Ortí, J., Prado-Gascó, V., Sancho Castillo, S. et al. Cortisol and IgA are Involved in the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. A Pilot Study. Cell Mol Neurobiol 39, 1061–1065 (2019).

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