Alzheimer's Disease (AD)

Alzheimer’s Disease Progresses sooner when exposed to Stress Hormones

Alzheimer’s Disease Progresses sooner when exposed to Stress Hormones

Researchers found that elderly Alzheimer’s patients have faster progression of developing brain plaque when stress hormones are elevated. Glucocorticoids containing medicine may also be contributing to the decline in mental ability. The stress hormones can help accelerate the development of brain lesions that damage the brain. The study was first reported in this week's issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

Frank LaFerla, professor of neurobiology and behavior, and a team of UCI researchers studied genetically altered mice by injecting them with dexamethasone, which is a glucocorticoid that is like the body’s stress hormones. Within only seven days of injection the mice brain had an increase of 60 percent more protein beta-amyloid which promotes protein fragments and plaque formation. There was also another protein called tau that increased in these mice. Tau contributes to the development of tangles in the brain which is also part of the destruction caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

Enzyme Found Can Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease and Restore Memory in Mice

Enzyme Found Can Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease and Restore Memory in Mice

Researchers from New York say that they have discovered an enzyme that thwarts some of the memory problems associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The enzyme, called Uch-L1 is found in lower amounts in Alzheimer’s patients.

Dr. Bing Gong and colleagues at Columbia University say that tests on shows promise. They injected the enzyme into the mice and found the mice developed new memories.

Alzheimer’s disease – Painless Skin Test for Early Detection

Alzheimer’s disease – Painless Skin Test for Early Detection

Scientists from the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute (BRNI) have found a substance in skin cells that could help diagnose whether or not a person is developing early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The skin test could be completed at a doctor’s office by a nurse or in an outpatient clinic. The researchers first published their report in the August 14th online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The BRNI biomarker found in the skin sample can accurately determine if a person has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia during the first one to two years of the early progression of the disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment May Involve Molecular Janitors

Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment May Involve Molecular Janitors

Researchers at the Salk Institute in California say they have found molecular janitors that help clean away beta-amyloid from the brain. This research helps explain why Alzheimer’s develops as we age. Many scientists believe that beta-amyloid is the primary culprit in Alzheimer’s disease.

Most of the drugs on the market for Alzheimer’s disease only treat or alleviate the symptoms. There is no cure. This new research may lead to a much better treatment because they can attack the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. "It's a whole new way of thinking in the Alzheimer's field," said Dr. Andrew Dillin, a biologist at California's Salk Institute for Biological Studies who led the new research.

Study Says Cutting Calories May Lower Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease – Apples May also Reduce Risk

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A new study says that by cutting calories you may be able to reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Researchers took laboratory mice that were destined to develop the brain wasting disease and controlled their diets.

The researcher found that the mice that were fed 30 percent fewer calories had a dramatic improvement in brain function. The scientists hope to come up with a pill that would imitate calorie reduction.

In related news, the South African website, Health 24, reports that two apples a day, or a glass of apple juice, could also reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s. There is a chemical in apples that boosts the levels of a neurotransmitter.

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