Autoimmune diseases and their relationship to Alzheimer's disease


The objective of a new study (Journal of Psychiatric Research Volume 155, November 2022, Pages 550-558) was to evaluate the association of liability to autoimmune diseases with Alzheimer's disease.

A systematic search was done using PubMed to identify autoimmune diseases that have been suggested as associated with Alzheimer's disease. Genetic predictors of these autoimmune diseases were obtained from the largest and most recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Genetic associations with clinically-diagnosed Alzheimer's disease were obtained from the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project GWAS (21982 cases; 41944 controls); and with parental and sibling history of Alzheimer's disease from the UK Biobank GWAS (27696 maternal, 14338 paternal and 2171 sibling cases).

Of the 7 autoimmune diseases considered, liability to psoriasis and sarcoidosis were not associated with Alzheimer's disease. Some evidence was found for liability to multiple sclerosis being associated with higher risk and liability to Sjogren's syndrome with lower risk of Alzheimer's disease. Associations found for liability to giant cell arteritis, type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis were inconsistent in sensitivity analyses.