Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers find high leptin levels may protect against Alzheimer's disease and dementia

16.12.2009
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that higher leptin (a protein that controls weight and appetite) levels were associated with a lower incidence of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and dementia. The study, which appears in the December 16th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, may open pathways for possible preventive and therapeutic interventions.

Dementia is increasingly recognized as a life-course illness where a variety of lifestyle choices interact with genetic, vascular and other risk factors to affect risk of disease. Given the rapid aging of developed and developing societies, it is projected that the prevalence of dementia will dramatically increase during the next five decades. Therefore, it is a public health priority to explore pathophysiological pathways underlying the development of dementia and its most common cause, AD.

According to the BUSM researchers, a growing body of evidence suggests that leptin has beneficial effects on brain development and function. It appears to mediate structure and functional changes in the hippocampus and to improve memory function. Leptin also has been shown to increase apolipoprotein E-dependent B amyloid uptake into the cell and reduce brain extracellular concentrations of B-amyloid, the major component of the neuritic plaques that are a histopathological hallmark of AD.

Using participants from the original cohort of the Framingham Heart Study, the researchers measured leptin concentrations in 785 persons without dementia. A subsample of 198 dementia-free survivors underwent volumetric brain MRI between 1999 and 2005, approximately 7.7 years after leptin levels were measured. Two measures of brain aging, total cerebral brain volume and temporal horn volume (which is inversely related to hippocampal volume) were assessed. The researchers found that elevated leptin levels was associated with higher total cerebral brain volume and lower temporal horn volume and higher leptin levels were prospectively associated with a lower incidence of AD and dementia.

"Over a 12-year follow-up, this corresponds to an absolute AD risk of 25 percent for persons with the lowest levels of leptin compared to a six percent risk for persons with the highest levels," said senior author Sudha Seshadri, MD, an associate professor of neurology at BUSM and an investigator at The Framingham Heart Study.

"If our findings are confirmed by others, leptin levels in older adults may serve as one of several possible biomarkers for healthy brain aging and, more importantly, may open new pathways for possible preventive and therapeutic intervention," she added.

The BUSM researchers believe further exploration of the molecular and cellular basis for the observed association may expand their understanding of the pathophysiology underlying brain aging and the development of AD.

Funding for this study was provided by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Dr. Seshadri and the Neurology study group would like to thank the Framingham Heart Study participants and staff whose extraordinary commitment and dedication makes such scientific insights possible.

Gina M. DiGravio | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bmc.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

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: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>