Healthy individuals who are at risk of Alzheimer’s disease show reduced activity in the hippocampal region of the brain when performing tasks related to forming new memories. In a study published today in the open access journal BMC Medicine, individuals carrying the apolipoprotein E (APOE) epsilon4 allele, which has previously been associated with high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD), showed altered brain activity compared to APOE epsilon3 homozygotes. According to the authors of the study, this supports the idea that certain regions of the brain exhibit functional decline associated with the AOPE epsilon4 allele, and this decline begins before the onset of AD symptoms.
Mehul Trivedi and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin Medical School and the William S. Middleton Memorial VA Hospital, Madison, United States, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning to analyse the brain activity patterns of 40 apparently healthy middle-aged individuals with a family history of AD, comparing epsilon3/4 heterozygotes with epsilon3/3 homozygotes. In this test the participants were asked to distinguish between images that they were being shown for the first time and images that they had already memorized previously in a pre-scan training session.
During the task, the epsilon3/4 heterozygotes showed reduced activation in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) of the brain, including the right hippocampus, compared to the epsilon3/3 homozygotes. There were no differences between the two groups in age, education, performance during the task or neuropsychological assessment of memory; therefore the altered brain activation seen could not have been caused by impaired cognitive function. According to the authors, “if compromised MTL function continues to be observed in healthy epsilon4 carriers, this group of subjects may represent a good study population for novel treatments designed to delay the onset or to prevent the development of AD”.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University
Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Life Sciences
23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy