Scientists reveal new clues to Alzheimer's risk gene
New clues into Alzheimer’s risk gene
(Medical Xpress) -- A study by scientists at the University of Southampton has revealed new clues to why people who carry the Alzheimer's risk gene APOE4 may be more likely to develop the disease.
The findings, which link the risk gene to clearance of the hallmark Alzheimers protein amyloid, take scientists a step further towards understanding the devastating disease. The research, published on July 25 in the journal PLoS ONE, was funded by Alzheimers Research UK.
The APOE gene is the biggest known genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimers disease. People who carry the APOE4 version of the gene have a higher risk of developing the disease at an earlier age than people who carry APOE3 or APOE2. However, the reason for this increased risk has remained unclear.
One of the key features of Alzheimers disease is the build-up of a toxic protein called amyloid in the brain. Higher levels of amyloid have been reported in blood vessels in the brains of people with APOE4, causing a condition called cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). It is thought that CAA may contribute to Alzheimers and the Southampton team, who specialise in studying blood vessels in the brain, set out to investigate this link further.
To examine the effect of the risk gene in the brain, the scientists used normal mice and mice bred to have human versions of either APOE4 or its neutral equivalent APOE3. They looked at the levels of amyloid in the blood vessels of these mice using a fluorescently labelled version of the protein that they could track.
Dr Cheryl Hawkes, from the University of Southampton, an author on the study, says: We found that only the mice with APOE4 had high levels of amyloid in the blood vessels of their brain, suggesting that people with the risk gene may not be able to clear the toxic protein as effectively from their brain. After delving a little deeper, we discovered that the blood vessels in mice with APOE4 were very different they were made up of a different set of components that may not work as well to clear amyloid.
These initial results are really exciting because they help us to build a bigger picture of the factors influencing a persons risk of Alzheimers. The next step will be to move this study from mice into humans to confirm that we see a similar change.
Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimers Research, said: Our understanding of the factors that make up a persons risk of Alzheimers is improving at an incredible rate. Across our lifestyle and the environment, our age, diet and our genes, the answers to what predisposes us to Alzheimers are being found. Research like this makes the risk picture more complete, and moves us closer to developing new treatments and preventions that can avert this devastating disease.
There are around half a million people in the UK living with Alzheimers disease, yet research into dementia remains hugely underfunded compared to other common diseases. If we are to make a real different to the lives of people with this devastating disease, we must continue to invest in research.
Journal reference: PLoS ONE
Provided by University of Southampton
- How the APOE gene can modify your risk for Alzheimer's disease Nov 13, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- ApoE4 Alzheimer's gene causes brain's blood vessels to leak, die May 16, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Alzheimer's gene slows brain's ability to export toxic protein Nov 13, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Alzheimer's changes detectable in healthy elderly Dec 22, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Engineered mice provide insight into Alzheimer's disease Jan 17, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Learning curve of Electromagnetism?
2 hours ago I'm taking a first year physics course and have been having a little trouble with the basics of newtons laws and forces and whatnot, though nothing...
thin glass in liquid
3 hours ago I have one question about optics because I start interested in it. If an object is placed a distance p from a thin glass lens (index of refraction...
How many joules expended for a push up?
6 hours ago Just wondering if any of you can do the calculation that well approximates the amount of joules expended by a push up.
force to keep the folding doors
6 hours ago Hello, I would like to ask you to calculate the force F, which needed to keep the folding doors in this position. I would like to know what is the...
Confusion regarding direction of kinetic friction on inclined plane.
7 hours ago *please help! * The formula for kinetic friction acting on a sliding body is μkN When the body is sliding with constant velocity down an...
13 hours ago Alright, so in Pathfinder (like Dungeons and Dragons) there's a spell that allows you to lift/move stuff within 25 ft with 5 pounds of force. A...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
(Medical Xpress)—Working with lab mice models of multiple sclerosis (MS), UC Davis scientists have detected a novel molecular target for the design of drugs that could be safer and more effective than current FDA-approved ...
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Older individuals with nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) seem to have a significantly reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a study published online May 15 in Neurology.
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 16, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
People who have skin cancer may be less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to new research published in the May 15, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The li ...
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 15, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have helped identify many of the biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease that could potentially predict which patients will develop the disorder ...
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 14, 2013 | 3 / 5 (1) | 0 |
A drug developed by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, known as J147, reverses memory deficits and slows Alzheimer's disease in aged mice following short-term treatment. The findings, ...
Alzheimer's disease & dementia May 13, 2013 | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
An increasing number of U.S. children are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that require interventions to resolve, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Big names in medicine are set to give an upbeat assessment of the war on AIDS on Tuesday, 30 years after French researchers identified the virus that causes the disease.
14 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
The latest makeover to a massive psychiatric tome honored by some, reviled by others and even called the "Bible" of mental disorders is being released Saturday with a host of new changes.
4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
15 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
A new case of the deadly coronavirus has been detected in Saudi Arabia where 15 people have already died after contracting it, the health ministry announced on Saturday on its Internet website.
4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A ground-breaking advance in colonoscopy technology signals the future of colorectal care, according to research presented today at Digestive Disease Week(DDW). Additional research focuses on optimizing the minimal withdrawal ...
6 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0