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Low level of neuronal receptor linked to mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease
Date:9/4/2007

Results of a new study indicate a strong link between the loss of the neuronal receptor LR11and onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a harbinger of Alzheimer's disease.

LR11, like all receptors, selectively receives and binds specific substances. Researchers found reduced levels of LR11, also known as sorLA or SORL1, in the brain tissue of people diagnosed with MCI. In addition, the findings show that levels of LR11 in the brain tissue reflect the severity of cognitive impairment and may predict which individuals will progress to Alzheimer's disease.

Results of the study by scientists at Emory University School of Medicine, along with scientists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, are published online in the Annals of Neurology and will be published in a future print edition.

The research was conducted by James Lah, MD, PhD, Emory associate professor of neurology, and graduate student Kristen Sager,in the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease. The research team also included Howard Rees, PhD, research specialist, Marla Gearing, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and Allan Levey, MD, PhD, professor and chair of neurology. The team at Rush University Medical Center included Joanne Wu, biostatistician, Susan Leurgans, PhD, professor of biostatistics, and Elliot Mufson, PhD, Alla V. and Solomon Jesmer Chair in Aging and professor of neurological sciences.

Mild cognitive impairment is an abnormal condition in which memory or cognitive ability is mildly impaired, yet individuals can perform everyday activities. However, they may have difficulty remembering recent events or following a conversation. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of those diagnosed with MCI go on to develop Alzheimer's disease each year and over 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

"We dont yet know what causes LR11 levels to drop," Dr. Lah says. "But we do know that LR11 binds ap
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Contact: Holly Korschun
hkorsch@emory.edu
404-727-3990
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

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