Alzheimer's disease may be started by mutations may starve brain

Alzheimer’s breakthrough as experts find clue to how memory-robbing disease starts and say hallmark mutations may starve brain of crucial energy

  • Australian researchers examined zebrafish with genes connected to Alzheimer’s
  • They found brain cells of fish with the genes had disrupted oxygen generation
  • This means the brain had less energy to function, impacting its performance
  • Researchers are confident they have found a driver of the disease in humans
  • Hopes of stopping Alzheimer’s in its tracks were raised today as scientists said they may have found what drives the memory-robbing disease.

    Australian researchers believe their discovery — if proven true in human trials — may ‘enormously benefit our ageing population’.

    Genes thought to raise the risk of the condition disrupt the way brain cells produce energy and could contribute to the deterioration of the brain, their study suggests.

    University of Adelaide academics examined how genetic mutations linked to early-onset Alzheimer’s affected zebrafish.

    Brain cells of the fish with the telltale DNA changes used less oxygen, meaning their brains were unable to produce enough energy to function correctly.

    Similar data on mice backed-up their theory.

    Lead researcher Dr Karissa Barthelson said the team are confident they have found a ‘fundamental, early driver of Alzheimer’s in humans’.

    ‘Energy production is the most fundamentally important cellular activity supporting all other functions, particularly in highly active organs such as brains,’ lei disse.

    ‘If we can understand what is going wrong with oxygen use and energy production, we may see ways of stopping the disease before it starts.

    Australian researchers have found what could be a key driving factor in the memory-robbing disease Alzheimer's finding genes associated with the condition disrupt how brain cells use oxygen

    Australian researchers have found what could be a key driving factor in the memory-robbing disease Alzheimer’s finding genes associated with the condition disrupt how brain cells use oxygen

    The scientists used zebrafish for their study due to their ability produce a huge number of offspring which makes it easier to detect subtle genetic differences

    The scientists used zebrafish for their study due to their ability produce a huge number of offspring which makes it easier to detect subtle genetic differences

    Lei ha aggiunto: ‘That would enormously benefit our ageing population.

    Dr Barthelson and colleagues published their findings in the journal Disease Models and Mechanisms.

    Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease, in which the build-up of abnormal proteins causes nerve cells to die.

    Ciò interrompe i trasmettitori che trasportano i messaggi, e fa restringere il cervello.

    Dr Barthelson also said the disease that ‘people’s brains become severely deficient in energy production’.

    La malattia, the most common type of dementia, usually strikes over-65s but one in 20 cases are among younger adults.

    Dr Barthelson’s team studied zebrafish because they have very large families, which makes it easier to detect subtle effects.

    The experts also examined a different team’s similar research on mice and found the same result.

    Dr Barthelson said: ‘This reinforces our confidence that we’ve found a fundamental, early driver of Alzheimer’s in humans.

    ‘It is very satisfying to have found this important common, early factor driving the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

    The team of researchers now plan to examine how the genes associated with Alzheimer’s impact the the energy generation of different types of brain cells.

    About 1million people in the UK have Alzheimer’s disease, with the condition being responsible for the majority of dementia cases in the country,

    In the US an estimated 5million people have Alzheimer’s and it is the officially sixth leading cause of death in the country, though more recent estimates have suggested it should now be bumped up to third.

    CHE COS'È ALZHEIMER'S?

    La malattia di Alzheimer è progressiva, malattia degenerativa del cervello, in cui l'accumulo di proteine ​​anomale causa la morte delle cellule nervose.

    Ciò interrompe i trasmettitori che trasportano i messaggi, e fa restringere il cervello.

    Più di 5 milioni di persone soffrono della malattia negli Stati Uniti, dove è la sesta principale causa di morte, e più di 1 milioni di britannici ce l'hanno.

    CHE SUCCEDE?

    Mentre le cellule cerebrali muoiono, le funzioni che forniscono vengono perse.

    Ciò include la memoria, orientamento e capacità di pensare e ragionare.

    Il progresso della malattia è lento e graduale.

    In media, i pazienti vivono da cinque a sette anni dopo la diagnosi, ma alcuni possono vivere da dieci a 15 anni.

    PRIMI SINTOMI:

    • Perdita di memoria a breve termine
    • Disorientamento
    • Cambiamenti comportamentali
    • Sbalzi d'umore
    • Difficoltà a gestire i soldi o fare una telefonata

    SINTOMI SUCCESSIVI:

    • Grave perdita di memoria, dimenticare i familiari stretti, oggetti o luoghi familiari
    • Diventare ansiosi e frustrati per l'incapacità di dare un senso al mondo, portando a un comportamento aggressivo
    • Alla fine perde la capacità di camminare
    • Potrebbe avere problemi a mangiare
    • La maggior parte avrà bisogno di cure 24 ore su 24

    fonte: Associazione Alzheimer

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