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”.
Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University
Spread of deadly eye cancer halted in cells and animals
13.11.2018 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
14.11.2018 | Life Sciences