Can amyloid plaque in Alzheimer's disease affect remote regions of the brain?

Credit: 2014 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

In Alzheimer's disease, accumulation of amyloid plaque in the brain is believed to play an important role in many characteristic disease symptoms, including memory loss and other mental state changes. But how these plaque deposits affect brain function is not well understood. Important new study results showing that plaque buildup in one area of the brain can negatively affect metabolism in a more distant brain region have been published in Brain Connectivity.

As part of a special issue focused on Alzheimer's disease, Elisabeth Klupp and coauthors, Technische Universtät München (Munich and Garching, Germany) and University Hospital of Cologne, Germany, present the results of an imaging-based study demonstrating that amyloid buildup in one brain region can impair brain cell metabolism and activity another in remote brain region not affected by accumulation. The regions studied were part of the same functional network but are located remotely from each other in the brain. The authors suggest this long-distance effect may be the result of diminished neuronal signals originating from the amyloid-affected brain region to the remote amyloid-unaffected brain region. The findings are discussed in the article "In Alzheimer's Disease, Hypometabolism in Low-Amyloid Brain Regions May Be a Functional Consequence of Pathologies in Connected Brain Regions."

"This research may be an important new discovery that links two important hypotheses in Alzheimer's disease research: the amyloid buildup hypothesis and the network degenerating hypothesis," says Christopher Pawela, PhD, Co-Editor-in-Chief and Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin.

More information: The article is available free on the Brain Connectivity website at online.liebertpub.com/doi/full… 1089/brain.2013.0212 until August 21, 2014.

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GrannyStormCrow
not rated yet Jul 22, 2014
Educate yourself! "The activation of cannabinoid CB2 receptors stimulates in situ and in vitro beta-amyloid removal by human macrophages" (PubMed), "Can the benefits of cannabinoid receptor stimulation on neuroinflammation, neurogenesis and memory during normal aging be useful in AD prevention?" (Journal of Neuroinflammation) and "Activation of the CB(2) receptor system reverses amyloid-induced memory deficiency" (PubMed). THC activates CB2 receptors.

"THC blocks an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase, which speeds the formation of amyloid plaque in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's drugs Aricept and Cognex work by blocking acetylcholinesterase. When tested at DOUBLE the concentration of THC, Aricept blocked plaque formation only 22% as well as THC, and Cognex blocked plaque formation only 7% as well as THC." WebMD "Marijuana May Slow Alzheimer's". See "Granny Storm Crow's List" for more! There's MUCH more to cannabis than just "getting high!

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