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N-methyl-d-aspartate glutamate receptor (NMDA-R) antibodies in mild cognitive impairment and dementias

Neuroscience Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.neures.2014.06.002
  • Nmda-Receptor Antibodies
  • Alzheimer'S Disease (Ad)
  • Subcortical Ischemic Vascular Dementia (Sivd)
  • Frontotemporal Dementia (Ftd)
  • Lewy Body Disease (Lbd)
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment (Mci)
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract The N-methyl-d-aspartate glutamate receptor (NMDA-R) plays a central role in learning and memory and has therefore a potential role in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. Recently, we detected NMDA-R autoantibodies in aged healthy volunteers without neuropsychiatric disorders. Since studies showing the involvement of NMDA-R antibodies in mild cognitive impairment and different forms of dementia are rare, we examined NMDA-R antibodies (Abs) in serum of 46 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 26 patients with subcortical ischemic vascular dementia (SIVD), 18 patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), 11 patients with Lewy body disease (LBD) and 33 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and in 21 healthy aged, gender-matched volunteers. While IgM and/or IgA NMDA-R Abs were present in all groups, IgG was only detected in one AD sample. Seropositivity could be correlated with the presence of co-symptoms: MCI and AD patients suffering from depression and AD and SIVD patients with a psychosis were almost all NMDA-R Ab positive. We conclude that the presence of NMDA-R Abs in dementia could influence the incidence of comorbid depressive and/or psychotic states.

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