May 19, 2024

Warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease: Researchers find new evidence

  1. Fahmarnes Tageblat
  2. health

He presses

To treat Alzheimer’s disease, researchers are trying to understand how the disease appears in its early stages. The first warning sign may be increased activity in certain areas of the brain.

Alzheimer’s disease is often diagnosed too late. In most cases, symptoms remain undetected for a long time. Therefore, doctors face a major challenge when treating dementia. While research is focused on understanding the causes, this is more difficult than expected. A US research team has now announced initial success in identifying potential warning signs. In a study conducted on animals, scientists found the “oldest”. Vital signsFor Alzheimer’s disease. The results were published in the specialized journal Embu reports published.

Cognitive decline and forgetfulness appear very late

Brain scan: Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease. Those affected are increasingly suffering from dementia (symbol). © IMAGO / Westend61 / Andrew Brooks

before Behavioral changes and memory lapses In addition to the appearance of characteristic beta-amyloid plaques, according to experts, other symptoms appear to be the first indicators of the development of the disease. illness He confesses. Although the findings have not yet been immediately applied in everyday clinical practice as diagnostic tools, the study authors say the findings could contribute to a better understanding of the manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease.

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With cognitive decline caused by Alzheimer’s disease, brain cell activity decreases in the long term. However, at the beginning of the disease, a contradiction arises: It may initially seem counterintuitive that the convulsive activity of brain cells heralds a disease in which neurons die and cognitive abilities decline, according to the journal Science. Science Alert mentioned.

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Increased activity in areas of the brain indicates Alzheimer’s disease

Previous studies have shown that patients at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease experience increased neuronal activity in the early stages of the disease. This activity was evident in brain scans in certain parts of the brain long before the first symptoms appeared.

Chinese researchers discovered in one studyNearly one-third of people tested who had a genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease had corresponding “spells of activity.” In another study, scientists from… University of California SteadilyPeople with Alzheimer’s disease, who have large spikes in brain activity, tend to be diagnosed at an early age.

Experiments on mice showed increased activity in parts of the brain

Seizure-like activity can be caused by nerve cell damage. However, the mechanisms underlying neuronal excitability in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease remain unclear. Previous research suggests that abnormal levels of calcium ions in cells and amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques, a major feature of Alzheimer’s disease, may be responsible for changes in activity.

Molecular biologist Yeeun Yook of the University of Illinois and his colleagues also discovered a neuron-specific protein (PSD-95). The protein enhances the excitatory activity of synapses, the connections between nerve cells, by recruiting more receptors. In a series of behavioral and tissue experiments on mice, the researchers found elevated levels of PSD-95 caused by the presence of Aβ. The researchers were also able to show how the protein was the driving force behind seizure activity. On the other hand, PSD-95 inhibition caused less synaptic activity and fewer seizures in mice.

Protein could provide early clues to Alzheimer’s disease

“Our results show that PSD-95 is a major contributor to hyperexcitability in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Nien-Pei Tsai, a molecular biologist at the University of Illinois and lead author of the study. “So we think that PSD-95 could be an early biomarker that indicates that a patient may have Alzheimer’s disease or increased susceptibility to seizures,” Nien-Pei Tsai said.

Of course, translating these findings into clinical applications will still require a lot of work. However, researchers are confident that PSD-85 could be a new warning marker in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. “Verifying this prediction could support our original hypothesis that PSD-95-dependent neuronal defects occur early in the disease and that inhibiting PSD-95, at least in the early phase of the disease, can slow the progression of symptoms.” The team concluded.

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