Longitudinal Analysis of Serum Copper and Ceruloplasmin in Alzheimer's Disease

Document Type

Journal Article


IOS Press


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Medical Sciences / Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care




This article was originally published as: Rembach, A., Doecke, J., Roberts, B., Watt, A., Faux, N., Volitakis, I., Pertile, K., Rumble, R., Trounson, B., Fowler, C., Wilson, W., Ellis, K., Martins, R. N., Rowe, C., Villemagne, V., Ames, D., Masters, C., & Bush, A. (2013). Longitudinal analysis of serum copper and ceruloplasmin in Alzheimer's Disease. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 34, 171-182. Original article available here


Background: Several studies have reported that peripheral levels of copper and ceruloplasmin (CP) can differentiate patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) from non-AD cases. The aim of this study was to determine the diagnostic value of serum copper, CP, and non-CP copper levels in a large cohort of AD subjects. Methods: Serum copper and CP concentrations were measured at baseline and at 18-months in participants from the Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle Study of Ageing. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses were conducted using both univariate and multivariate testing adjusting for age, gender, total protein, and ApoE 4 genotype status. Results: There was no significant difference in levels of serum copper or CP between the AD and healthy control groups,however, we identified a near-significant decrease in non-CP copper in the mild cognitive impairment and AD groups at baseline (p = 0.02) that was significant at 18-months (p = 0.003). Conclusion: Our results suggest that there may be decreased non-CP copper levels in mild cognitive impairment and AD, which is consistent with diminished copper-dependent biochemical activities described in AD.