Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene Targeting Prevents Memory Loss In Alzheimer's Disease Model

Date:
January 8, 2004
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Northwestern University researchers have prevented learning and memory deficits in a model of Alzheimer's disease using a gene-targeting approach to block production of beta-amyloid, or "senile," plaques, one of the hallmarks of the disease.

CHICAGO -- Northwestern University researchers have prevented learning and memory deficits in a model of Alzheimer's disease using a gene-targeting approach to block production of beta-amyloid, or "senile," plaques, one of the hallmarks of the disease. Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative condition affecting over 15 million people worldwide that causes memory loss and, ultimately, dementia. Some research suggests that Alzheimer's disease is caused by an increased amyloid burden in the brain -- the so-called amyloid cascade hypothesis.

Results of the Northwestern study, published in the January issue of the journal Neuron, provide compelling evidence for the therapeutic potential of inhibiting an enzyme, beta-secretase (BACE1), required for the production of beta-amyloid, to treat memory impairment in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

The study also presents new evidence that beta-amyloid is directly responsible for causing the memory-robbing effects of Alzheimer's disease, said Masuo Ohno, research assistant professor of physiology, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. Ohno's co-researchers on the project were John F. Disterhoft, professor of physiology, and Robert Vassar, associate professor of cell and molecular biology at the Feinberg School.

Ohno and colleagues used behavioral, biochemical and electrophysiologic methods to analyze BACE1 in mice bred to lack the enzyme but to also overproduce amyloid precursor protein, which BACE1 "clips" into fragments of beta-amyloid that eventually form the notorious plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease.

The mice were healthy and had no serious neurological abnormalities, suggesting that BACE1 inhibition is a rational strategy for treating Alzheimer's disease, Ohno said.

Importantly, the beneficial effects of BACE1 inhibition in the mice were seen well before beta-amyloid plaques formed, indicating that the soluble forms of the protein can disrupt learning and memory in early stages of the disease process.

"Potential compounds that block BACE1 should be useful in counteracting the Alzheimer's disease process. We clearly show for the first time that genetic reduction of brain beta-amyloid levels prevents memory deficits and brain cell functional abnormalities in a laboratory model of Alzheimer's disease," Ohno said.

"This well-executed study in mice is another step forward toward demonstrating the validity of anti-amyloid interventions in Alzheimer's disease. The next step is to see if this works in more sophisticated models of the disease, and eventually in humans. " said William Thies, vice president of medical and scientific affairs for the Alzheimer's Association, which funded part of the study. The National Institutes of Health also funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Gene Targeting Prevents Memory Loss In Alzheimer's Disease Model." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040108075931.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2004, January 8). Gene Targeting Prevents Memory Loss In Alzheimer's Disease Model. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040108075931.htm
Northwestern University. "Gene Targeting Prevents Memory Loss In Alzheimer's Disease Model." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040108075931.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins