Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Measuring Metabolism Can Predict the Progress of Alzheimer's with 90% Accuracy

08.11.2012
Metabolic studies could lead to new therapies, says a TAU researcher
When it comes to Alzheimer's disease, scientists usually — and understandably — look to the brain as their first center of attention. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University say that early clues regarding the progression of the disease can be found in the brain's metabolism.

In very early stages of the disease, before any symptoms appear, metabolic processes are already beginning to change in the brain, says PhD candidate Shiri Stempler of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Working with Profs. Eytan Ruppin and Lior Wolf of TAU's Blavatnik School of Computer Science, Stempler has developed predictor models that use metabolic information to pinpoint the progression of Alzheimer's. These models were 90 percent accurate in predicting the stage of the disease.

Published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, the research is the first step towards identifying biomarkers that may ensure better detection and analysis of the disease at an early stage, all with a simple blood test. It could also lead to novel therapies. "We hope that by studying metabolism, and the alterations to metabolism that occur in the very early stages of the disease, we can find new therapeutic strategies," adds Stempler.

Interrupting a regulated process

Metabolism describes a set of chemical reactions in cells which sustain life by controlling processes such as growth and reproduction. It is also responsible for providing energy to the body. To delve deeper into the connection between metabolism, brain functioning, and Alzheimer's disease, the researchers used data collected from the hippocampus region of the brain. Controlling memory and learning, this region of the brain is damaged as Alzheimer's progresses.

Based on the number of metabolic genes found in the neurons and surrounding tissue, they built a predictive model which relates abnormalities in these genes to the progression of the disease. Out of almost 1500 genes, the researchers were able to select 50 genes that were the most predictive of Alzheimer's, says Stempler, noting that in Alzheimer's patients these genes are either over or under expressed, meaning that there are either too many or too few.

When they compared the findings from these 50 genes among Alzheimer's patients, healthy patients, and primates (including chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys), the researchers discovered that in all but the Alzheimer's group, the number of the specific genes was tightly limited, with little difference in their number between individuals among each of the species, she explains. This implies that these genes are significant to normal brain functioning, and their strict regulation in healthy patients is compromised by Alzheimer's disease.

Exploring new pathways

Whether metabolic changes are a cause of the disease or merely a symptom remains a topic for future study. But the discovery of this connection is encouraging. "The correlation between metabolic gene expression and cognitive score in Alzheimer's patients is even higher than the correlation we see in medical literature between beta amyloid plaques – found in deposits in the brains of Alzheimer's patients — and cognitive score, pointing to a strong association between cognitive decline and an altered metabolism," Stempler says.

Next the researchers will try to identify biomarkers in the blood that are associated with these metabolic changes. They may lead to detection and information about the disease's progression with an easy and non-invasive blood test. And as their work advances, Stempler hopes to develop therapeutic strategies that are based around these alterations in the metabolic network to help Alzheimer's patients, such as medications that can re-introduce strict regulation over gene expression. They believe that the research is a promising direction for Alzheimer's research.

George Hunka | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aftau.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht An ounce of prevention: Research advances on 'scourge' of transplant wards
28.08.2015 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

nachricht Hypoallergenic parks: Coming soon?
27.08.2015 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...

Im Focus: Optische Schalter - Lernen mit Licht

Einem deutsch-französischen Team ist es gelungen, einen lichtempfindlichen Schalter für Nervenzellen zu entwickeln. Dies ermöglicht neue Einblicke in die Funktionsweise von Gedächtnis und Lernen, aber auch in die Entstehung von Krankheiten.

Lernen ist nur möglich, weil die Verknüpfungen zwischen den Nervenzellen im Gehirn fortwährend umgebaut werden: Je häufiger bestimmte Reizübertragungswege...

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

Im Focus: Membranprotein in Bern erstmals entschlüsselt

Dreidimensionale (3D) Atommodelle von Proteinen sind wichtig, um deren Funktion zu verstehen. Dies ermöglicht unter anderem die Entwicklung neuer Therapieansätze für Krankheiten. Berner Strukturbiologen ist es nun gelungen, die Struktur eines wichtigen Membranproteins zu entschlüsseln – dies gelingt relativ selten und ist eine Premiere in Bern.

Membranproteine befinden sich in den Wänden der Zellen, den Zellmembranen, und nehmen im menschlichen Körper lebenswichtige Funktionen wahr. Zu ihnen gehören...

Im Focus: Quantenbeugung an einem Hauch von Nichts

Die Quantenphysik besagt, dass sich auch massive Objekte wie Wellen verhalten und scheinbar an vielen Orten zugleich sein können. Dieses Phänomen kann nachgewiesen werden, indem man diese Materiewellen an einem Gitter beugt. Eine europäische Kollaboration hat nun erstmals die Delokalisation von massiven Molekülen an einem Gitter nachgewiesen, das nur noch eine einzige Atomlage dick ist. Dieses Experiment lotete die technischen Grenzen der Materiewellentechnologie aus und knüpft dabei an ein Gedankenexperiment von Bohr und Einstein an. Die Ergebnisse werden aktuell im Journal "Nature Nanotechnology" veröffentlicht.

Die quantenmechanische Wellennatur der Materie ist die Grundlage für viele moderne Technologien, wie z. B. die höchstauflösende Elektronenmikroskopie, die...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Gravitationswellen im Einsteinjahr

28.08.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Strömungen in industriellen Anlagen sichtbar gemacht

28.08.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Konzepte gegen Fachkräftemangel: Demografiekonferenz in Halle

27.08.2015 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Siemens an der Sicherheit: Lösungen für jede Anforderung

28.08.2015 | Messenachrichten

Biofabrikation von künstlichen Blutgefäßen mit Laserlicht

28.08.2015 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Forscher entwickeln Methode zur Manipulation von Molekülen

28.08.2015 | Physik Astronomie