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

July 21, 2014
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.

Explore further: New brain protein tied to Alzheimer's disease

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.

Related Stories

New brain protein tied to Alzheimer's disease

July 16, 2014
Scientists have linked a new protein to Alzheimer's disease, different from the amyloid and tau that make up the sticky brain plaques and tangles long known to be its hallmarks.

Transplantation of new brain cells reverses memory loss in Alzheimer's disease model

July 16, 2014
A new study from the Gladstone Institutes has revealed a way to alleviate the learning and memory deficits caused by apoE4, the most important genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, improving cognition to normal levels ...

Researchers identify possible treatment window for memory problems

February 27, 2013
Researchers have identified a possible treatment window of several years for plaques in the brain that are thought to cause memory loss in diseases such as Alzheimer's. The Mayo Clinic study is published in the Feb. 27 online ...

Trial to test new drug that may slow Alzheimer's memory loss

June 25, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—A new research study at Northwestern Medicine and Rush University Medical Center is testing whether a new investigational treatment can slow the memory loss caused by Alzheimer's disease.

It's not just amyloid: White matter hyperintensities and Alzheimer's disease

February 19, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—New findings by Columbia researchers suggest that along with amyloid deposits, white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) may be a second necessary factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Key cellular auto-cleaning mechanism mediates the formation of plaques in Alzheimer's brain

October 3, 2013
Autophagy, a key cellular auto-cleaning mechanism, mediates the formation of amyloid beta plaques, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. It might be a potential drug target for the treatment of the disease, concludes ...

Recommended for you

Could olfactory loss point to Alzheimer's disease?

August 16, 2017
By the time you start losing your memory, it's almost too late. That's because the damage to your brain associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) may already have been going on for as long as twenty years. Which is why there ...

New Machine Learning program shows promise for early Alzheimer's diagnosis

August 15, 2017
A new machine learning program developed by researchers at Case Western Reserve University appears to outperform other methods for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease before symptoms begin to interfere with every day living, initial ...

Alzheimer's risk linked to energy shortage in brain's immune cells

August 14, 2017
People with specific mutations in the gene TREM2 are three times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those who carry more common variants of the gene. But until now, scientists had no explanation for the link.

Scientists reveal role for lysosome transport in Alzheimer's disease progression

August 7, 2017
Researchers from Yale University School of Medicine have discovered that defects in the transport of lysosomes within neurons promote the buildup of protein aggregates in the brains of mice with Alzheimer's disease. The study, ...

Mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's diagnoses trigger lower self-ratings of quality of life

August 3, 2017
Researchers at Penn Medicine have discovered that a patient's awareness of a diagnosis of cognitive impairment may diminish their self-assessment of quality of life. In a study published this month in the Journal of Gerontology: ...

Researchers help find pathologic hallmarks of Alzheimer's in aged chimpanzee brains

August 1, 2017
Dementia affects one-third of all people older than 65 years in the United States. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, a progressive, irreversible brain disease that results in impaired cognitive functioning ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.