Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Role Of Fatty Acids In Alzheimer's Disease Identified

Date:
October 21, 2008
Source:
Gladstone Institutes
Summary:
Scientists have found that complete or partial removal of an enzyme that regulates fatty acid levels improves cognitive deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. A large-scale analysis of brain lipids identifies a potential therapeutic strategy.

Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease (GIND) and the University of California have found that complete or partial removal of an enzyme that regulates fatty acid levels improves cognitive deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Their findings published October 19 in Nature Neuroscience, identified specific fatty acids that may contribute to the disease as well as a novel therapeutic strategy.

Related Articles


AD causes a progressive loss of cognitive functions and results in death. Over 5 million Americans are living with this condition. Although there are treatments to ease the symptoms, these treatments are not very effective and researchers have yet to discover a cure.

"Several different proteins have been implicated in Alzheimer's disease," said Lennart Mucke, M.D., GIND director and senior author of the study, "but we wanted to know more about the potential involvement of lipids and fatty acids."

Fatty acids are rapidly taken up by the brain and incorporated into phospholipids, a class of fats that form the membrane or barrier that shields the content of cells from the external environment. The scientists used a large scale profiling approach ("lipidomics") to compare many different fatty acids in the brains of normal mice with those in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease that develops memory deficits and many pathological alterations seen in the human condition.

"The most striking change we discovered in the Alzheimer mice was an increase in arachidonic acid and related metabolites in the hippocampus, a memory center that is affected early and severely by Alzheimer's disease," said Rene Sanchez-Mejia, M.D., lead author of the study.

In the brain arachidonic acid is released from phospholipids by an enzyme called group IVA phospholipase A2 (or PLA2). The scientists lowered PLA2 levels in the Alzheimer mice by genetic engineering. Removal or even partial reduction of PLA2 prevented memory deficits and other behavioral abnormalities in the Alzheimer mice.

"Arachidonic acid likely wreaks havoc in the Alzheimer mice by causing too much excitation, which makes neurons sick. By lowering arachidonic acid levels, we are allowing neurons to function normally," said Dr. Sanchez-Mejia.

Dr. Mucke added, "in general, fatty acid levels can be regulated by diet or drugs. Our results have important therapeutic implications because they suggest that inhibition of PLA2 activity might help prevent neurological impairments in Alzheimer's disease. But a lot more work needs to be done before this novel therapeutic strategy can be tested in humans."

John W. Newman, Sandy Toh, Gui-Qiu Yu, Yungui Zhou, Brian Halabisky, Moustapha Cisse, Kimberly Scearce-Levie, Irene H. Cheng, Li Gan, Jorge J. Palop, Joseph V. Bonventre, and Lennart Mucke also contributed to the study. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Gladstone Institutes.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Gladstone Institutes. "Role Of Fatty Acids In Alzheimer's Disease Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081019144618.htm>.
Gladstone Institutes. (2008, October 21). Role Of Fatty Acids In Alzheimer's Disease Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081019144618.htm
Gladstone Institutes. "Role Of Fatty Acids In Alzheimer's Disease Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081019144618.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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