Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists Discover Mechanism Tying Obesity to Alzheimer’s Disease

30.12.2005


If heart disease and diabetes aren’t bad enough, now comes another reason to watch your weight. According to a study just released, packing on too many pounds can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.



A team led by researchers at the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and Edith Cowan University in Joondalup, Western Australia has shown that being extremely overweight or obese increases the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s. They found a strong correlation between body mass index and high levels of beta-amyloid, the sticky protein substance that builds up in the Alzheimer’s brain and is thought to play a major role in destroying nerve cells and in cognitive and behavioral problems associated with the disease.

“We looked at the levels of beta-amyloid and found a relationship between obesity and circulating amyloid,” says Sam E. Gandy, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Farber Institute for Neurosciences. “That’s almost certainly why the risk for Alzheimer’s is increased,” says Dr. Gandy, who is also professor of neurology, and biochemistry and molecular biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. “Heightened levels of amyloid in the blood vessels and the brain indicate the start of the Alzheimer’s process.” The scientists reported their findings this month in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.


According to, Dr. Gandy, evidence has emerged over the last five years that many of the conditions that raise the risk for heart disease such as obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia also increase the risk for Alzheimer’s. Yet exactly how such factors made an individual more likely to develop Alzheimer’s remained a mystery.

Dr. Gandy, Ralph Martins, Ph.D., of Edith Cowan University and their colleagues measured body mass index and beta-amyloid levels in the blood. They also looked at several other factors associated with heart disease and diabetes, such as the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein, insulin, and high density lipoprotein in 18 healthy adults who were either extremely overweight or obese. They found a “statistically significant correlation” between body mass index and beta-amyloid.

“Ours is one of the first attempts to try to find out on both the pathological and the molecular levels how obesity was increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s,” says Dr. Gandy, who serves as chairman of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Council.

One implication of these findings could be that by losing excess weight and maintaining normal body weight, an individual might reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. However, this has not been proven, notes Dr. Gandy.

“What’s especially interesting about this is that several studies are showing that even medical conditions in midlife may predispose to Alzheimer’s later on,” he says. “The baby boomers today should pay attention to this. Their medical risk factors today will play a role 30 years later. Think about weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, which could affect you long-term. In terms of Alzheimer’s, another risk factor is maintaining an active mental lifestyle.”

The next step is to follow such patients over the long term to see how many do indeed develop Alzheimer’s. “We need to first develop a medicine that is effective in humans in lowering amyloid accumulation or generation,” says Dr. Gandy. “We have those now in mice and we are testing them in humans. If we can develop such a medicine, then the question will be, if we can lower amyloid, will that in fact prevent Alzheimer’s?”

Steve Benowitz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jefferson.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>