The explanation for why some patients develop psychotic change in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is unclear. "Psychosis-modifier genes" may act in the setting of neurodegeneration to produce AD plus psychosis in a similar way to how genetic modulation during neurodevelopment leads to schizophrenia. Because there is increasing interest in the common disruption of cytokine pathways seen in both AD and schizophrenia, we tested the association between the functional interleukin-1beta -511 promoter polymorphism with delusions and hallucinations in AD. Significant associations between psychotic symptoms and the CC genotype (p = 0.001 - p = 0.043) and C allele (p = 0.014 vs p = 0.048) were found, thus confirming the previously noted increased risk in schizophrenia.
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