Background: Inflammatory events may contribute to the pathogenesis of dementia and interleukin-1 (IL-1) may exert both neurotoxic and neuroprotective effects. We investigated whether IL-1α -889 C/T and IL-1β -511 C/T promoter polymorphisms are associated with the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD). Methods: AD patients (n = 219) and VaD patients (n = 82), who fulfilled the criteria of the NINCDS-ADRDA and NINDS-AIREN, and ethnic-matched and nondemented controls (n = 209) were analyzed by means of genotype association method. Results: No significant difference in the genotype distribution of the analyzed single nucleotide polymorphisms was found between AD or VaD cases and controls. However, the frequency of the IL-1α -889 CT genotype was notably lower in VaD patients aged over 70 years than the age-matched controls (9.1 vs. 22.9%, p = 0.036) andtheIL-1α -889 CT genotype demonstrated a trend toward decrease in risk of developing VaD (odds ratio: 0.34; 95% confidence interval: 0.12-0.83, p = 0.026). Multivariate analysis revealed that the IL-1β -511T-carrying genotype slightly strengthens the negative association of the IL-1α -889 CT genotype with VaD (odds ratio: 0.26; 95% confidence interval: 0.08-0.79, p = 0.024). Conclusion: Our data suggest a protective role of the IL-1α -889 CT genotype in VaD susceptibility among Taiwanese aged over 70 years.
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