Thursday February 21, 2019

Study- Fluid Drainage System in Brain Linked to Alzheimer

The study demonstrated that meningeal lymphatic vessels in the brain play an essential role in maintaining a healthy homeostasis in ageing brains and could be a new target for the treatment

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For the study, published in the journal Nature, the team engineered a hydrogel that can swell those lymphatic vessels.
For the study, published in the journal Nature, the team engineered a hydrogel that can swell those lymphatic vessels. (IANS)

Scientists have identified a fluid drainage system in the brain that sheds light on the underlying mechanisms of brain ageing and age-related Alzheimer’s disease.

The study demonstrated that meningeal lymphatic vessels in the brain play an essential role in maintaining a healthy homeostasis in ageing brains and could be a new target for the treatment.

These vessels drain fluid from the central nervous system into the cervical lymph nodes and dysfunction of that drainage aggravates cognitive decline as well as Alzheimer’s disease pathology.

Moreover, when the healthy aged mice were treated with a molecule that increased meningeal lymphatic vessel size and fluid flow within those vessels, the mice showed improved performance on learning and memory tasks.

“As you age, the fluid movement in your brain slows, sometimes to a pace that’s half of what it was when you were younger,” said Jennifer Munson, Assistant Professor at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), in the US.

alzheimers
The study demonstrated that meningeal lymphatic vessels in the brain play an essential role in maintaining a healthy homeostasis in ageing brains. Pixabay

“We discovered that the proteins responsible for Alzheimer’s actually do get drained through these lymphatic vessels in the brain along with other cellular debris, so any decrease in flow is going to affect that protein build-up,” she added.

For the study, published in the journal Nature, the team engineered a hydrogel that can swell those lymphatic vessels.

As a result of the treatment, the bulk flow of fluid in the brain actually increased, and that seemed to have a positive effect on cognitive abilities.

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Munson noted that older mice with normal, age-impaired cognitive abilities experienced the biggest gains in memory and learning from the treatment.

“Our results showed that someday this method could be used as a potential treatment to help alleviate the effects not only of Alzheimer’s, but also other age-related cognitive ailments,” Munson said. (IANS)

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Researchers Identify New Mechanism to Prevent Alzheimer’s

The team next plans to test this approach in additional animal studies and eventually in human trials using small molecule inhibitors targeting eEF2K

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

Researchers have identified a novel mechanism and a potential new therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), says a new study on mice.

Alzheimer’s is characterised by profound memory loss and synaptic failure. Although the exact cause of the disease remains unclear, it is well established that maintaining memory and synaptic plasticity requires protein synthesis.

The function of the synapse is to transfer electric activity (information) from one cell to another.

“Alzheimer’s is such a devastating disease and currently there is no cure or effective therapy for it,” said Tao Ma, Assistant Professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine in the US.

A lady suffering from Alzheimer’s. Flickr

“All completed clinical trials of new drugs have failed, so there is clearly a need for novel therapeutic targets for potential treatments.”

For the study, the team has shown that AD-associated activation of a signaling molecule termed eEF2K leads to inhibition of protein synthesis.

Further, they wanted to determine if suppression of eEF2K could improve protein synthesis capacity, consequently alleviating the cognitive and synaptic impairments associated with the disease.

They used a genetic approach to repress the activity of eEF2K in Alzheimer’s mouse models.

Cognitive Impairment
Alzheimer’s disease patient Isidora Tomaz, 82, sits in an armchair in her house in Lisbon, Portugal. VOA

The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, showed that genetic suppression of eEF2K prevented memory loss in those animal models and significantly improved synaptic function.

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“These findings are encouraging and provide a new pathway for further research,” said Ma.

The team next plans to test this approach in additional animal studies and eventually in human trials using small molecule inhibitors targeting eEF2K. (IANS)