ibusinesslines.com September 21, 2018

WIT researchers say nutrients can slow Alzheimer's

23 June 2018, 02:46 | Melissa Porter

GETTY ImagesDementia Alzheimer's supplement to prevent symptoms is'important medical advancement

GETTY ImagesDementia Alzheimer's supplement to prevent symptoms is'important medical advancement

Blue Cross and the Alzheimer's Association hope the purple displays not only bring awareness to the disease, but also remind MI residents of the importance of brain health.

"The hypothesis that viruses play a part in brain disease is not new, but this is the first study to provide strong evidence based on unbiased approaches and large data sets that lends support to this line of inquiry", Dr. Richard J. Hodes, the National Institute on Aging director, said in a press release by the National Institutes of Health, the parent agency. Now, the main theory is that sticky brain-clogging plaques are the culprit.

American researchers found that two strains of human herpesvirus were found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease at levels up to twice as high as in those without Alzheimer's.

Researchers made the discovery after examining data from brain banks and cohort studies that are part of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership - Alzheimer's Disease consortium.

"This opens up the door for looking for new therapies that target the immune system in Alzheimer's", Dudley said.

Reporting in the June 21 issue of the journal Neuron, the authors emphasize that their findings do not prove that the viruses cause the onset or progression of Alzheimer's. Their data analyses and subsequent studies in experimental mice found that the HHV-6A virus effectively suppressed miR-155, leading to altered levels of Aβ and amyloid plaque density in vivo.

The viruses can cause encephalitis and other chronic conditions. The hypothesis was that they could be what are known as "slow virus diseases", where viral infections result in progressive destruction of neurological processes, potentially decades after an acute infection. Rather, the research gives scientists reason to revisit the old pathogen hypothesis and will be the basis for further work that will test whether herpes virus activity is one of the causes of Alzheimer's.

"It appeared the virus was acting in the networks or biological pathways with many known Alzheimer's genes", said Dudley, director of the Institute for Next Generation Healthcare at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City.

And those with more advanced disease had more virus in their brains. Some researchers say it could be linked to some common childhood viruses.

The findings were based on RNA sequencing on four brain regions in more than 600 samples of postmortem tissue from people with and without Alzheimer's.

"We're able to see if viral genes are friending some of the host genes and if they tweet, who tweets back", Dudley said.

For the new study, which was broadly created to map and compare genetic, transcriptional, and protein networks underlying AD, the team analyzed whole exome DNA and RNA sequencing data from 622 brain donors with early- and later-stage clinical and neuropathological features of AD, and another 322 brains from donors without the disease, generated through the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored Accelerated Medicines Partnership for Alzheimer's Disease (AMP-AD). "This is is also consistent with the contribution of viral perturbation in driving the preclinical AD transcriptional phenotype, given that our prioritization of miR-155 was informed by findings in the preclinical AD networks".

"If it becomes evident that specific viral species directly contribute to an individual's risk of developing Alzheimer's or their rate of progression once diagnosed, then this would offer a new conceptual framework for understanding the emergence and evolution of Alzheimer's at individual, as well as population, levels". The plaques also alert brain immune cells called microglia to the fact that something is wrong; these cells launch an immune cascade that kills even more neurons.

The research study does not suggest that Alzheimer's disease is contagious. "But the data are the data".

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