Helicobacter pylori infection and atherosclerosis: is there a causal relationship?
PURPOSE The association of Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection and Alzheimer's disease has widely been addressed, but no relative data exist regarding vascular dementia (VD). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between Hp infection and VD. MATERIAL AND METHOD From January 2014 to March 2015, patients at Tai'an City Central Hospital who were diagnosed with VD were included. Patients were divided into Hp positive and Hp negative group using the (13)C-urea breath test ((13)C-UBT). Three inflammatory cytokines including interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) were detected. RESULTS A total of 173 VD patients were included in the study. According to (13)C-UBT, 104 patients (60.1%) were Hp positive VD patients and 69 patients (39.9%) were Hp negative patients. No differences were found between Hp positive and Hp negative patients as regard to age, gender, body mass index, education level, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia (p > 0.05). Hp positive patients demonstrated significantly lower mean mini-mental state examination and Montreal cognitive assessment scores (p < 0.05) and higher plasma levels of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α than Hp negative patients (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS Hp infection might contribute, at least in part, to the cognitive decline in patients with VD, and play a critical role possibly through increasing expression of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α.