Monday, 25 September, 2017

Alzheimer's disease: Scientists discover how a ROGUE protein triggers the brain disease

Sharp focus on Alzheimer's may help target drugs Poor Sleep Tied to Increased Alzheimer's Risk
Tracy Craig | 07 July, 2017, 00:55

Not everyone with sleep problems in the study had abnormalities in their spinal fluid.

The information was adjusted based on variables between participants, such as age and sex.

'To delay or prevent dementia due to Alzheimer disease, it is critical to identify modifiable risk factors'.

Not necessarily. Bendlin said these findings can not prove that poor sleep causes Alzheimer's disease.

So, if you're someone who's always tossing and turning at night, does that mean you're destined to a future with Alzheimer's disease?

"For example, disrupted sleep or lack of sleep may lead to amyloid plaque buildup because the brain's clearance system kicks into action during sleep", Bendlin added.

"Our study looked not only for amyloid but for other biological markers in the spinal fluid as well".

Nearly thirty years ago, scientists at the LMB (including Michel Goedert, one of the senior authors on this paper) identified tau protein as an integral component of the lesions found in Alzheimer's and a range of other neurodegenerative diseases.

Given our busy and chaotic lives, as many as one in three people have trouble sleeping - either they are not getting enough sleep, or suffer disturbed sleep or in some cases, it's a combination of both. The researchers, whose study is published today in Nature, believe the structures they have revealed may suggest how tau protein may form different filaments in other neurodegenerative diseases. Using an innovative imaging technique known as cryo-electron microscopy, which studies samples at very low temperatures, the scientists were able to obtain a detailed image of the molecular structure of tau filaments from the brain of a 74-year-old woman with a confirmed diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

Real defender Pepe set to join Beşiktaş
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Qatar given two-day extension to meet demands from Gulf neighbours
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All participants had known risk factors for Alzheimer's, such as family history or evidence of the APOE gene, which is associated with a greater risk of the disease.

They also answered questions to judge the quality of their sleep.

Those signs included presence of amyloid, brain cell damage and inflammation.

"Our findings align with the idea that worse sleep may contribute to the accumulation of Alzheimer's-related proteins in the brain", Bendlin said.

One of the limitations of the study was that the sleep problems were self-reported.

"More research is needed to further define the relationship between sleep and these biomarkers", Bendlin said. "In the deepest stage of sleep, the brain cleans itself out of plaque and other toxic materials that trigger Alzheimer's disease".

Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer's Association, agreed: "This new study suggests there may be an opportunity to improve cognition and possibly reduce dementia risk through early diagnosis and effective treatment of sleep disorders".

It's always been known that people with Alzheimer's suffer sleep issues.

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