Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Inflammation may trigger Alzheimer's disease

Pair of studies give clues to how disease develops and may be treated

The anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin could hold promise as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, says a Saint Louis University doctor and researcher.

Two research studies published by William A. Banks, M.D., professor of geriatrics and pharmacological and physiological science at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, support this conclusion and offer what he calls a "one-two punch" in giving clues on how Alzheimer's disease develops and could be treated.

His study in the July edition of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease supports the idea that toxic levels of amyloid beta protein, the substance scientists believe is responsible for Alzheimer's disease, accumulate in the brain because a pump that pushes it into the blood and past the blood-brain barrier malfunctions.

The blood-brain barrier is a system of cells that regulates the exchange of substances between the brain and the blood. The blood-brain barrier transporter known as LRP is the pump that removes amyloid beta protein from the brain and into the bloodstream.

"LRP malfunctions like a stop light stuck on red, and keeps amyloid beta protein trapped in the brain," said Banks, who also is a staff physician at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Louis.

He tested the hypothesis by giving mice an antisense, which is a molecular compound that blocked the production of LRP. Amyloid beta protein accumulated in the brain and the mice showed memory loss and learning impairment.

The finding raises the question of what causes LRP to malfunction. Banks' study in the May issue of Brain Behavior and Immunity suggests inflammation as the culprit and supports using indomethacin, an anti-inflammatory medication, as a buffer to protect LRP from being turned off.

Inflammation, which is part of the body's natural immune response, occurs when the body activates white blood cells and produces chemicals to fight infection and invading foreign substances.

"We induced inflammation in mice and found that it turned off the LRP pump that lets amyloid beta protein exit the brain into the bloodstream. It also revved up an entrance pump that transports amyloid beta into the brain. Both of these actions would increase the amount of amyloid beta protein in the brain."

Banks then gave mice indomethacin, which prevented inflammation from turning off the LRP (exit pump).

His findings help to explain what doctors who are studying the use of indomethacin to treat people with Alzheimer's disease are seeing in their clinical practice.

"Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, especially indomethacin, have been associated with protection against Alzheimer's disease. Our work could influence that debate and thinking at the patient-care level," Banks said.

Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first M.D. degree west of the Mississippi River. Saint Louis University School of Medicine is a pioneer in geriatric medicine, organ transplantation, chronic disease prevention, cardiovascular disease, neurosciences and vaccine research, among others. The School of Medicine trains physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health services on a local, national and international level.

Nancy Solomon | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>