Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new biomarker of brain inflammation in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease

04.03.2016

Researchers at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), and the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (ISD) in Munich, Germany, have identified a brain inflammation marker in patients at early asymptomatic stages of Alzheimer’s disease. This secreted marker molecule may provide clinicians with a rapidly detectable biomarker for the transition from preclinical Alzheimer’s disease to cognitive impairment and progression to full dementia. Such is the conclusion of a multi-center study on a large group of human patients, published online in EMBO Molecular Medicine.

Alzheimer’s disease, an increasing problem in today’s aging populations, is characterized by amyloid peptide plaques and tau protein aggregates in nerve cells. Understanding its molecular causes and risk factors has been challenging because most cases develop sporadically without inherited genetic mutations, and because of the gradual progression of symptoms over the course of disease.


Image: Manifestation of clinical biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid during the course of Alzheimer’s disease progression. Image adapted after Schindler & Holtzman (2016), EMBO Mol Med in press.

Recognizing affected individuals early would be important for increasing treatment options and facilitating clinical trials of new therapeutics. However, the currently available preclinical diagnostics based on amyloid peptide and tau protein forms in the cerebrospinal fluid are not sufficiently specific, as individuals exhibiting them may still retain normal cognitive capabilities for years before developing dementia.

In the present work, the teams led by Michael Ewers (ISD) and EMBO Member Christian Haass (DZNE) focussed on the TREM2 protein, which functions in specialized brain immune cells called microglia that clear toxic material resulting from nerve cell injury. Microglia are activated during Alzheimer’s disease progression and may mediate an initially protective inflammatory response, a notion that is also supported by epidemiological studies linking mutations in the TREM2 gene to increased risk of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Conducting a cross-sectional study of a large cohort of patients with different levels of cognitive impairment and different disease stages, the researchers found that the amounts of a TREM2 fragment in the cerebrospinal fluid were highest during early stages characterized by mild cognitive impairment symptoms.

Its levels declined again in late-stage patients with full dementia, closely mirroring the pattern of microglia activity during the course of the disease. Together, these findings indicate that microglia-mediated brain inflammation may demarcate the transition from preclinical Alzheimer’s disease to full dementia.

“We now have the first marker for the capacity of brain immune cells to remove toxic materials,” says Haass, “and its increase long before full Alzheimer’s dementia shows that there is early neuronal injury that does not yet affect memory, but already triggers a microglia response.” And Ewers adds, “If this response is indeed protective, then therapeutically modulating the activity of microglia could be beneficial in late-stage Alzheimer’s patients as well as other brain disorders.”

Read the article:

sTREM2 cerebrospinal fluid levels are a potential biomarker for microglia activity in early-stage Alzheimer’s Disease and associate with neuronal injury markers

Suárez-Calvet M, Kleinberger G, Caballero MA, Brendel M, Rominger A, Alcolea D, Fortea J, Lleó A, Blesa R, Gispert JD, Sánchez-Valle R, Antonell A, Rami L, Molinuevo JL, Brosseron F, Traschütz A, Heneka MT, Struyfs H, Engelborghs S, Sleegers K, Van Broeckhoven C, Zetterberg H, Nellgård B, Blennow K, Crispin A, Ewers M, Haass C

doi: 10.15252/emmm.201506123

http://embomolmed.embopress.org/content/early/2016/03/03/emmm.201506123

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.embo.org/news/research-news/research-news-2016/a-new-biomarker-of-bra...

Yvonne Kaul | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>