Alzheimers... A Liver Disease?

Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 03:52 pm
Study points to liver, not brain, as origin of Alzheimer's plaques

Unexpected results from a Scripps Research Institute and ModGene, LLC study could completely alter scientists' ideas about Alzheimer's disease—pointing to the liver instead of the brain as the source of the "amyloid" that deposits as brain plaques associated with this devastating condition. The findings could offer a relatively simple approach for Alzheimer's prevention and treatment.

The study was published online today in The Journal of Neuroscience Research.

In the study, the scientists used a mouse model for Alzheimer's disease to identify genes that influence the amount of amyloid that accumulates in the brain. They found three genes that protected mice from brain amyloid accumulation and deposition. For each gene, lower expression in the liver protected the mouse brain. One of the genes encodes presenilin—a cell membrane protein believed to contribute to the development of human Alzheimer's.

"This unexpected finding holds promise for the development of new therapies to fight Alzheimer's," said Scripps Research Professor Greg Sutcliffe, who led the study. "This could greatly simplify the challenge of developing therapies and prevention."

An estimated 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, including nearly half of people age 85 and older. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and over with this disease will range from 11 million to 16 million unless science finds a way to prevent or effectively treat it. In addition to the human misery caused by the disease, there is the unfathomable cost. A new report from the Alzheimer's Association shows that in the absence of disease-modifying treatments, the cumulative costs of care for people with Alzheimer's from 2010 to 2050 will exceed $20 trillion.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 1,997 • Replies: 9
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Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 04:40 pm
Wow! Thanks so much for posting this! Very interesting.
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Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 04:47 pm
Go, Scripps!! I did my lab training in the clinic associated with the research institute many years ago. It was essentially an entirely different place, as it was an ordinary clinic and the research institute was great even back then. The good thing was that I could cross the alley and go hear some of the lectures/reports there.

Man, I hope this latest news pans out (and they'd better hurry up, I'm in line for it).
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Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 05:34 pm
This is welcome news, if it proves to be correct.
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 05:58 pm
I do have a faint memory (well, that's my way) of an article not too long ago talking about amyloid not being the problem, that it was naturally produced, part of normal physiology, and that - here I really don't remember but am wild guessing - well, I won't go there. It might have been conjecture on enzyme activity or other matters.

That's an article I might have saved. Will post it if I did.
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 06:19 pm
Huh! Interesting.
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Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 08:33 pm
Interesting! My friend has been an Alzheimer researcher for 20+ years, I'll ask her about that.....
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Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2011 08:56 pm
I recall a similar article within the past several years. I imagine it concerned amyloid, but don't recall.
Reply Sun 6 Mar, 2011 03:38 pm
Well, yesterday I found that article (so I can find it again) and was about to post it and then, my mac did it's wonky cursor moves again. I've learned, or think I've learned, that that means the computer is overheated.

Back in a bit.
Reply Sun 6 Mar, 2011 03:50 pm
Now I'm not sure either of these is the article I'm remembering, but they're both interesting -

Failed Amyloid Clearance May Cause AD

Finding Suggests New Aim for Alzheimer’s Drugs
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