Monday May 21, 2018

Cholesterol Can Increase Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, Finds Research

In the case of Alzheimer's disease, the amyloid-beta molecules stick to the lipid cell membranes that contain cholesterol.

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In Alzheimer's disease, patients start losing memory, Pixabay
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Cholesterol — a molecule normally linked with cardiovascular diseases — may also play an important role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have found.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Chemistry, suggests that in the brain, cholesterol acts as a catalyst which triggers the formation of the toxic clusters of the amyloid-beta protein, which is a central player in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers found that cholesterol, which is one of the main components of cell walls in neurons, can trigger amyloid-beta molecules to aggregate, and their aggregation eventually leads to the formation of amyloid plaques, in a toxic chain reaction that leads to the death of brain cells.

“The levels of amyloid-beta normally found in the brain are about a thousand times lower than we require to observe it aggregating in the laboratory – so what happens in the brain to make it aggregate?” said lead author Michele Vendruscolo, Professor at Centre for Misfolding Diseases, in the University of Cambridge.

Cholesterol -- a molecule normally linked with cardiovascular diseases -- may also play an important role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease, researchers have found.
Junk Food is highly rich in Cholesterol, pixabay

For the study, using a kinetic approach, the researchers found in vitro studies that the presence of cholesterol in cell membranes can act as a trigger for the aggregation of amyloid-beta.

Since amyloid-beta is normally present in such small quantities in the brain, the molecules don’t normally find each other and stick together. Amyloid-beta does attach itself to lipid molecules, however, which are sticky and insoluble, the researcher said.

In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, the amyloid-beta molecules stick to the lipid cell membranes that contain cholesterol.

Also Read: Small Head Blows Can Also Increase Risk of Dementia 

Once stuck close together on these cell membranes, the amyloid-beta molecules have a greater chance to come into contact with each other and start to aggregate – in fact, the researchers found that cholesterol speeds up the aggregation of amyloid-beta by a factor of 20.

“The question for us now is not how to eliminate cholesterol from the brain, but about how to control cholesterol’s role in Alzheimer’s disease through the regulation of its interaction with amyloid-beta,” Vendruscolo said.

“We’re not saying that cholesterol is the only trigger for the aggregation process, but it’s certainly one of them,” Vendruscolo added. (IANS)

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Drug Used For Osteoporosis May Help in Reducing Heart Attack Risk

Intake of the drug also reduced the risk of stroke by 18 per cent within five years and 17 per cent within 10 years.

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A commonly used drug for treating osteoporosis or bone pain may also help reduce the risk of death by cardiovascular, heart attack and stroke, according to a study.
Heart Attack risk can be decreased by drug of osteoporosis, Pixabay

A commonly used drug for treating osteoporosis or bone pain may also help reduce the risk of death by cardiovascular, heart attack and stroke, according to a study.

The report, published in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, showed that the drug Alendronate could lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 67 per cent and heart attacks by 45 per cent within a year.

Intake of the drug also reduced the risk of stroke by 18 per cent within five years and 17 per cent within 10 years.

“Our findings show that Alendronate is potentially cardioprotective in hip fracture patients,” said Ching-Lung Cheung, from the University of Hong Kong.

“Physicians should consider prescribing Alendronate or other similar drugs to patients with hip fracture and patients should also have good compliance with Alendronate treatment, as this is not only good for your bones but also your heart,” Cheung added.

It is used for osteoporosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, and several other bone diseases.
Spine Bones, Pixabay

Alendronate belongs to a class of drugs called bisphosphonates and works by preventing bone breakdown and increasing bone density.

It is used for osteoporosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, and several other bone diseases.

The researchers collected data from 34,991 patients, diagnosed with hip fracture in 2005. Out of these 4,602 patients received osteoporosis treatment during follow up.

Also Read: Healthy Diet May Decrease the Risk of Hearing Loss in Women 

Due to excess cardiovascular adverse events, there is a worldwide crisis in the current treatment of osteoporosis with drug romosozumab.

In 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had rejected romosozumab and requested more data before reaching a decision.

The study, thus, has significant implications in clinical trial design of anti-osteoporosis medications, the researchers said. (IANS)

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