Navigation Links
After death, twin brains show similar patterns of neuropathologic changes
Date:2/27/2014

Despite widespread use of a single term, Alzheimer's disease is actually a diverse collection of diseases, symptoms and pathological changes. What's happening in the brain often varies widely from patient to patient, and a trigger for one person may be harmless is another.

In a unique study, an international team of researchers led by USC psychologist Margaret Gatz compared the brains of twins where one or both died of Alzheimer's disease. They found that many of the twin pairs not only had similar progressions of Alzheimer's disease and dementia prior to death, but they also had similar combinations of pathologies two-or-more unconnected areas of damage to the brain.

The paper is part of Gatz's landmark body of work on aging and cognition with the Swedish Twin Registry, a large cohort study of more than 14,000 Swedish twins, now over the age of 65. Across nearly 30 years, Gatz's work with twins including genetically identical pairs has shifted the study of Alzheimer's disease to include the entire lifespan, including the effects of developmental exposure, periodontal disease, mental health, obesity and diabetes on later-life Alzheimer's risk.

The current paper provides more evidence that there may not be a single smoking-gun cause of Alzheimer's, but rather a range of potential causes to which we may be susceptible largely depending on our genetics. It appears in the current issue of the journal Brain Pathology.

"We try to make inferences based on tests and diagnoses, but we have to assume that what we're seeing is a manifestation of what's going on in these twins' brains," said Gatz, professor of psychology, gerontology and preventive medicine in USC Dornsife College. "For this reason, we wanted to compare the brains of twins to ask whether identical twins' brains are actually more identical?"

The researchers had the rare opportunity to directly autopsy the brains of seven pairs of twins who both died after being receiving diagnostic evaluations over many years, including a pair of identical twins who were both diagnosed with Alzheimer's and died within a year of one another at the age of 98.

"There may be risk factors that start to accumulate but don't lead to a clinical diagnosis," explained lead author Diego Iacono of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the Biomedical Research Institute. "We found that the presence of Alzheimer's disease doesn't preclude the presence of other damage. Looking at co-pathologies in twin pairs may present new areas for research aside from the typical factors."

For example, while there's wide consensus among experts about the course of Alzheimer's disease and the presence of amyloid plaques and tangles in the brain, what starts the process going is less clear, including the role of lesions, Lewy bodies and vascular or ventricle damage, more often associated with specific types of dementia such as Parkinson's disease.

"Identical twins tended to have similar combinations of pathologies. We looked not just at the hallmark indicators of Alzheimer's, but at all the other damage in the brain. Across the whole array of neuropathological changes, the identical twins appeared to have more similar pathologies," Gatz said. "This is fascinating: it's not just a key pathology related to the twins' diagnoses but the combination of things happening in their brains. We're going to keep looking for what these combinations are."


'/>"/>
Contact: Edward North-Hager
edwardnh@usc.edu
213-740-9335
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Almost 200 new species of parasitoid wasps named after local parataxonomists in Costa Rica
2. Dartmouth study shows US Southwest irrigation system facing decline after 4 centuries
3. UTMB study examines hospital readmission rates after inpatient rehabilitation
4. Permanent changes in brain genes may not be so permanent after all
5. Exposures to some phthalates fall after federal ban
6. After a 49-million-year hiatus, a cockroach reappears in North America
7. ADC evaluation for the changes of infarction core and remote regions after MCAO
8. Mass spectrometer detection of 10 protein spots after acute high-altitude HBI
9. A magnetic nanoparticles-based method for DNA extraction from the saliva after stroke
10. Study finds axon regeneration after Schwann cell graft to injured spinal cord
11. Hypoxic preconditioning stimulates angiogenesis in ischemic penumbra after ACI
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/4/2017)... , April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC ... announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office ... broadly covers the linking of an iris image with ... transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th issued ... patent is very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities ... (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, ... recognition, and others), by end use industry (government and ... immigration, financial and banking, and others), and by region ... , Asia Pacific , and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... March 24, 2017 The Controller General of Immigration ... Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for ... Continue Reading ... ... Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/22/2017)... Longmont, Colorado (PRWEB) , ... June 21, 2017 ... ... the RTP regional office in North Carolina, and engages Timothy Reinhardt to manage ... years of quality leadership at Pfizer Inc, with his most recent role as ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... LOS ANGELES, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 22, ... ... alignment with global health leaders in designating infertility as a disease, bringing new ... voted last week at their 2017 annual meeting to back the World Health ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... The first human cell line HeLa, established in ... data on cross-contamination of human cell lines with HeLa cells were published. Until recently, ... culture labs and is associated with dramatic consequences for research. , In this ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... Rocky Hill, CT (PRWEB) , ... June 20, ... ... entrepreneurial support, today announced that the CTNext board of directors has formed a ... developed by a working group composed of institution presidents and other high-ranking representatives ...
Breaking Biology Technology: