Frontal lobe dementia (Frontotemporal Dementia, FTD) strikes people at an earlier age. After Alzheimer's disease, FTD is the form of dementia that occurs most frequently in patients younger than 65. In FTD, the disease process starts in the frontal lobe where large numbers of brain cells begin to die off.
The frontal lobe is the foremost part of the brain and constitutes about 30% of the brain. Among other things, it is involved in regulating behavior, movement and mood, and it is responsible for cognitive functions such as language. So, the first clinical signs of FTD are changes in behavior and personality, and then, in a later stage of the disease, the loss of memory functions.
Progranulin: a main actor
Genetic research has shown previously that there is a genetic defect in chromosome 17 in a large percentage of the families with FTD. There are two genes in chromosome 17 that, if a defect occurs, cause a hereditable form of FTD. In 1998, defects were found in the gene for the tau protein, a substance that appears in the protein clots in the brains of FTD and Alzheimer's patients. In 2006, Christine Van Broeckhoven's team discovered hereditable defects in the gene for the progranulin protein. They predicted that people with these hereditable defects produce only half of the normal amount of progranulin.
This has been confirmed by Christine Van Broeckhoven's team, who have shown that a shortage of this growth factor leads to the dying off of brain cells in the frontal lobe and in this way causes FTD. New results indicate that progranulin also plays a role in the death of brain cells in other diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer's disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
On the basis of their research, Kristel Sleegers, a scientist in Van Broeckhoven's team, has developed a test for measuring the quantity of progranulin in the blood in a simple way. This test enables one to determine whether someone has an increased risk of FTD due to a shortage of progranulin long before symptoms appear. The blood test can be used on a large scale and is much more simple and user-friendly than the current genetic tests. This finding also offers prospects for the early detection of FTD caused by a shortage of progranulin.
However, it is still too early for a medicine to combat FTD. Further scientific research is needed to determine how a shortage of progranulin can be restored to normal.
Sooike Stoops | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Alzheimer > Alzheimer's Disease > Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis > FTD > Frontal lobe dementia > Frontotemporal Dementia > blood flow > brain cell > chromosome 17 > cognitive function > dementia > genetic research > loss of memory functions > progranulin > progranulin protein
Inhaling air pollution-like irritant alters defensive heart-lung reflex for hypertension
19.06.2019 | University of South Florida (USF Innovation)
Nitric oxide-scavenging hydrogel developed for rheumatoid arthritis treatment
06.06.2019 | Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)
From June 25th to 27th 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau (Germany) will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.
Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects, and excessive scrap
The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.
Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...
The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified
The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...
Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.
Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...
Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.
The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...
24.06.2019 | Event News
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
24.06.2019 | Event News
24.06.2019 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
24.06.2019 | Life Sciences