Monday April 22, 2019

Protective molecule against Alzheimer’s identified

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New York: Giving the search for Alzheimer’s therapies a shot in the arm, researchers have identified the steps that a molecule takes to protect the brain from toxic effects of protein fragments known as amyloid beta, a hallmark of the progressive brain disorder.

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“Our discovery centers on a protein called WAVE1, which we found to be important in the production of amyloid beta,” said study author Paul Greengard, professor at Rockefeller University in New York.

“The reduction of WAVE1 appears to have a protective effect against the disease,” Greengard noted.

Brain cells themselves make amyloid beta, and for reasons that are not fully understood, its accumulation ultimately contributes to the memory loss, personality changes, and other symptoms that patients with this degenerative disease often suffer from.

“When levels of amyloid beta rise, there is an accompanying increase in another molecule, AICD, which reduces the expression of WAVE1. This has the effect of reducing the production of amyloid beta,” Greengard explained.

“By targeting steps within this newly discovered pathway, it may be possible to develop drugs to reduce amyloid beta that potentially could be used to either treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease,” Greengard pointed out.

WAVE1 is known to help to build filaments of a protein called actin that serve as basic components of cellular structures.

In the current study, the team, examined the levels of WAVE1 in mouse and cellular models of Alzheimer’s disease.

They found a dose-dependent response: Mice brains with low WAVE1 levels produced less amyloid-?, and these animals performed better on memory tests.

(IANS)

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Treating Diabetes May Also Prevent People From Developing Alzheimer’s Disease: Study

In addition, nearly 530 participants had normal blood sugar levels while 250 had prediabetes

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In Alzheimer's disease, patients start losing memory. Pixabay

Treating Type-2 diabetes may prevent people from developing Alzheimer’s disease, says a new study.

Patients with untreated diabetes develop signs of Alzheimer’s disease 1.6 times faster than people who did not have diabetes, according to the study published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Scientists consider Alzheimer’s as the result of a cascade of multiple problems including factors ranging from pollution exposure and genetics to heart and metabolic diseases.

“It is possible that the medicines for treating diabetes might make a difference in the progression of brain degeneration,” said Daniel A. Nation, Associate Professor at University of Southern California.

“But it’s unclear how exactly those medications might slow or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, so that is something we need to investigate,” he added.

Cognitive Impairment
Alzheimer’s disease patient Isidora Tomaz, 82, sits in an armchair in her house in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s predicted that by 2050, 135 million Americans are going to suffer from mild cognitive impairment, a precursor of Alzheimer’s. VOA

For the study, the researchers analysed data on nearly 1,300 people aged 55 and older.

Data included biomarkers for diabetes and vascular disease, brain scans and a range of health indicators, including performance on memory tests.

Among 900 of those patients, more than 50 had Type-2 diabetes who did not receive any treatment, whereas nearly 70 were undergoing treatment.

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In addition, nearly 530 participants had normal blood sugar levels while 250 had prediabetes.

“Our findings emphasise the importance of catching diabetes or other metabolic diseases in adults as early as possible,” Nation said.

“Among people with diabetes, the difference in their rate of developing the signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s is clearly tied somehow to whether or not they are on medication for it,” he noted. (IANS)