Gangliosides are thought to have a role in neuronal development and regeneration while anti-ganglioside antibodies have been shown to impair these processes. In the present work we examined whether the neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer's disease is associated with the presence of anti-ganglioside antibodies. A significant level of antibodies specific to ganglioside GM1 but not to other gangliosides (GD1a, GD1b, GT1b and GQ1b) was found in patients with Alzheimer's disease as compared to normal age matched controls. A high level of antibodies to GM1 was also found in patients with multi-infarct dementia and Parkinson's disease with dementia but not in non-demented patients with other neurodegenerative diseases. These results may reflect a specific change in ganglioside metabolism which is associated with the neurodegenerative processes underlying Alzheimer's disease and other causes of dementia.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Ganglioside GM