Navigation Links
Lipids in the brain an important factor for Alzheimer's disease?
Date:12/10/2007

Brussels & Leuven, Belgium As the most common form of dementia in the Western world, Alzheimer's disease carries enormous implications for our ageing society. It is generally accepted that the disease is caused by Alzheimer peptide (A -peptide) protofibrils. Until now, the conditions under which this type of protofibril is formed and leads to the disease remained unknown. VIB researchers have now discovered that certain lipids, present also in our brains, promote the formation of this protofibril. This discovery is of major importance because it opens up new avenues of research into finding medicines against Alzheimer's disease. It also explains earlier indications of a link between lipids and Alzheimer's disease.

Misfolded proteins: cause of various diseases

The biological functioning of cells depends on the right folding of thousands of proteins. Normally, cells automatically correct misfolded proteins. In diseases such as Alzheimers, Parkinson's and Creutzfeld-Jacob's, however, misfolded proteins are deposited in the body's tissues. In Alzheimer's disease the most common form of dementia, which in Belgium alone affects about 100,000 people misfolding of the A -amyloid peptide leads in various stages to the formation of plaques. These plaques consist of accumulations of so-called fibrils and is not in itself toxic. One of the intermediary stages in the formation of plaques is the formation of the protofibril form of the A -peptide. Protofibrils are toxic for brain cells, causing the poisoned cells to die off and leading to memory loss. This is why these protofibrils are considered to be the main cause of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Surrounding brain lipids destabilize plaques

VIB researchers were able, using certain lipids, to convert the fibrils into protofibrils. This came as a surprise, for it had long been assumed that the fibrils and the plaque they cause are stable and that once they have formed they cannot disappear or be transformed into another structure. Ivo Martins, Joost Schymkowitz and Frederic Rousseau (VIB, Vrije Universiteit Brussel), and Inna Kupperstein and Bart De Strooper (VIB, K.U.Leuven) have shown that certain lipids normally occurring in the brain can destabilize the fibrils, and therefore also the plaque that is so typical of Alzheimer's disease. The liberated protofibrils are toxic for brain cells, causing them to die off at least in vitro. The researchers were able to show that this also happens in vivo by injecting laboratory animals (mice) with the protofibrils. This caused memory loss in the mice. The researchers explain that these symptoms are comparable with those of early stage dementia in humans.

Producing protofibrils for new applications in medicine

The discovery opens up a new avenue of research into possible medicines against Alzheimer's disease. It indicates that substances that neutralize the toxicity or the formation of protofibrils might be able to be used as medicines against Alzheimer's disease. With the discovery of a method for producing toxic protofibrils, the researchers at the VIB have provided a good model for finding medicines that could counteract the formation of protofibrils. Their research also indicates that the concentration of lipids in the brain greatly influences the biological equilibrium between non-toxic plaques and toxic oligomeres. These results open up new avenues of research into the effects of fat metabolism for diseases such as Alzheimer's.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sooike Stoops
info@vib.be
329-244-6611
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Chemists get grip on slippery lipids
2. Invasion of the brain tumors
3. HIV is a double hit to the brain
4. AIDS interferes with stem cells in the brain
5. 60 second test could help early diagnosis of common brain diseases
6. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
7. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
8. Influence of sex and handedness on brain is similar in capuchin monkeys and humans
9. Inside the brain of a crayfish
10. Specific brain protein required for nerve cell connections to form and function
11. Brains timing linked with timescales of the natural visual world
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)...  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring ... , M.D., who returned to the company in October ... team, including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , ... and Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... March 22, 2016 Unique ... passcodes for superior security   ... provider of secure digital communications services, today announced it ... and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in the Financial ... and voice authentication within a mobile app, alongside, and ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... March 14, 2016 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... commerce market, announces the airing of a new series of ... week of March 21 st .  The commercials will air ... popular Squawk on the Street show. --> NXTD ... growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... American Process, Inc. ... patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 9,322,133 and 9,322,134, to API and its affiliated companies ... well as hydrophobic nanocellulose compositions. In addition to these patents and U.S. ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... further than LaJollaCooks4u, San Diego’s premiere hands-on cooking experience. Offering everything from gourmet ... mom an experience she won’t forget. , Guests that visit LaJollaCooks4u share an ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... May 4, 2016 According to ... "Metabolomics Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, ... is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 17.1% ... by 2024. Metabolomics is the extensive study ... biofluids, tissues or organisms. Together, these small molecules and ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Morf Media Inc ... training platform on mobile devices, today released a new interactive Food and ... Devices. The course is essential for owners or operators of places of business ...
Breaking Biology Technology: