Proteins linked in a pathway, drugs that may prevent memory loss, the positive role of sleep, a new memory app-check out these latest new concepts in AD diagnosis and treatment.
A new concept of Alzheimer disease (AD) that links proteins, drugs that block brain arginine prevent memory loss, the positive role of sleep in AD, a new memory app-these are the latest new concepts in AD diagnosis and treatment.
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Protein Pathway Could Reconceptualize Alzheimer
• A concept of AD that links proteins together in a pathway has been proposed by researchers from the University of Cambridge.
• The researchers studied stem cells taken from the skin of persons with AD and differentiated them into neurons.
• Using medications that increase or decrease beta-amyloid processing, they found that processing from amyloid precursor protein (APP) may be directly linked to tau levels.
• The research underscores the possible use of stem cells in research and points toward possible normal as well as pathological functioning of beta-amyloid and tau in the nervous system.
• APP metabolism affects tau levels and may be targeted in future therapeutic interventions for AD.
Exploring the Role of Arginine in AD
• Previous drugs targeting beta-amyloid, the main implicated culprit in AD, have demonstrated limited success.
• Previous research on AD mouse models demonstrated low brain arginine.
• Duke researchers have found that mice with experimental AD (CVN-AD mice) have brains that consume excessive arginine via the enzyme arginase.
• Drugs that blocked brain arginine consumption via a specific immune system pathway prevented memory loss and brain cell death in the AD mice.
• Future studies of the strategy to target arginine consumption will proceed, perhaps ultimately also in humans.
Sleep Restores Memory in a Fly Model of AD
• Numerous studies have linked sleep to memory.
• A Drosophila (fruit fly) mutant that lacks a sleep promoting agent and also has memory problems has been studied by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.
• The researchers used 3 techniques to restore sleep in the flies:
• In all cases, the increase in sleep of about 3 or 4 hours daily also improved memory in the flies.
• The study has implications for the positive role of sleep in AD and reinforces that targeting sleep-related proteins may be a strategy for future AD treatments.
An App to Remember
• Smartphones and tablets can be used to help persons with AD remember.
• Samsung has released a “Backup” memory app to help persons with AD remember family members.
• The app detects nearby family members and identifies their name and relationship to the person with AD.
• Future versions of the app will include the names of nearby locations, using GPS.
• A newly proposed concept of AD links proteins together in a pathway.
• Drugs that blocked brain arginine consumption via a specific immune system pathway prevented memory loss and brain cell death in AD mice.
• A study of fruit flies has implications for the positive role of sleep in AD and targeting sleep-related proteins for AD treatments in humans.
• A new memory app helps persons with AD remember family members.