Sunday January 19, 2020

Distress May Spike up Risk of Dementia

For the study, the team included 6,807 Danish participants aged 60 years on average

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Men and women who are distressed in midlife could be at higher risk of developing dementia in their old age, suggests a new study.

The study showed that vital exhaustion, which can be perceived as an indicator of psychological distress, is a risk factor for future risk of dementia.

Psychological distress is potentially linked to the risk of dementia through neurological and cardiovascular mechanisms.

The findings, led by researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, revealed that for each additional symptom of vital exhaustion, the risk of dementia rose by two per cent.

While participants reporting five to nine symptoms had a 25 per cent higher risk of dementia than those with no symptoms, those reporting 10 to 17 symptoms had a 40 per cent higher risk of dementia compared with not having symptoms.

However, the researchers are yet not aware of "exactly how anticholinergics might cause dementia", the researchers said.
Representational Image- dementia, Pixabay

Importantly, physiological stress response, including cardiovascular changes and excessive production of cortisol over a prolonged period, may also contribute to linking psychological distress with an increased risk of dementia, revealed the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

“Stress can have severe and harmful consequences not just for our brain health, but our health in general. Cardiovascular risk factors are well-known modifiable risk factors for dementia, and in some countries, a stagnation or even a decreasing incidence of dementia has been observed,” said Sabrina Islamoska, postdoctoral student from the varsity.

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For the study, the team included 6,807 Danish participants aged 60 years on average.

Psychological distress is an important risk factor that should receive more focus when considering prevention initiatives in relation to later dementia, the team said. (IANS)

Next Story

This Class of Antibiotics Can Treat Dementia

Antibiotics to treat early dementia show promise

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Frontotemporal dementia, is the most common type of early onset dementia, typically begins between ages 40 and 65. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a class of antibiotics called “Aminoglycosides” could be a promising treatment for early onset dementia.

Frontotemporal dementia, is the most common type of early onset dementia, typically begins between ages 40 and 65 and affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which leads to behaviour changes, difficulty speaking and writing and memory deterioration.

According to the study, published in the journal “Human Molecular Genetics”, a subgroup of patients with frontotemporal dementia have a specific genetic mutation that prevents brain cells from making a protein called progranulin.

Although progranulin is not widely understood, its absence is linked to the disease.

The researchers from University of Kentucky in US, discovered that after aminoglycoside antibiotics were added to neuronal cells with this mutation, the cells started making the full-length progranulin protein by skipping the mutation.

dementia
Currently, there are no effective therapies for any type of dementia. Pixabay

“These patients” brain cells have a mutation that prevents progranulin from being made. The team found that by adding a small antibiotic molecule to the cells, they could ‘trick’ the cellular machinery into making it,” said study co-author Matthew Gentry from the University of Kentucky.

The researchers found two specific aminoglycoside antibiotics – Gentamicin and G418 – were both effective in fixing the mutation and making the functional progranulin protein.

After adding Gentamicin or G418 molecules to the affected cells, the progranulin protein level was recovered up to about 50 to 60 per cent.

These results could be promising to drug development. Currently, there are no effective therapies for any type of dementia, the researchers said.

After this pre-clinical proof of concept study, the next step is to study the antibiotics’ effects on mice with the mutation that causes frontotemporal dementia, they added.

Another focus is to possibly develop new compounds from Gentamicin and G418 that could be safer and more effective.

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“If we can get the right resources and physician to work with, we could potentially repurpose this drug,” Zhu added.

This is an early stage of the study, but it provides an important proof of concept that these aminoglycoside antibiotics or their derivatives can be a therapeutic avenue for frontotemporal dementia,” Zhu added. (IANS)