Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Inflammation May Trigger Alzheimer's Disease

Date:
July 9, 2009
Source:
Saint Louis University
Summary:
New research sheds light on what causes Alzheimer's disease and suggests a possible therapy.

The anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin could hold promise as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, says a Saint Louis University doctor and researcher.

Two research studies published by William A. Banks, M.D., professor of geriatrics and pharmacological and physiological science at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, support this conclusion and offer what he calls a "one-two punch" in giving clues on how Alzheimer's disease develops and could be treated.

His study in the July edition of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease supports the idea that toxic levels of amyloid beta protein, the substance scientists believe is responsible for Alzheimer's disease, accumulate in the brain because a pump that pushes it into the blood and past the blood-brain barrier malfunctions.

The blood-brain barrier is a system of cells that regulates the exchange of substances between the brain and the blood. The blood-brain barrier transporter known as LRP is the pump that removes amyloid beta protein from the brain and into the bloodstream.

"LRP malfunctions like a stop light stuck on red, and keeps amyloid beta protein trapped in the brain," said Banks, who also is a staff physician at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Louis.

He tested the hypothesis by giving mice an antisense, which is a molecular compound that blocked the production of LRP. Amyloid beta protein accumulated in the brain and the mice showed memory loss and learning impairment.

The finding raises the question of what causes LRP to malfunction. Banks' study in the May issue of Brain Behavior and Immunity suggests inflammation as the culprit and supports using indomethacin, an anti-inflammatory medication, as a buffer to protect LRP from being turned off.

Inflammation, which is part of the body's natural immune response, occurs when the body activates white blood cells and produces chemicals to fight infection and invading foreign substances.

"We induced inflammation in mice and found that it turned off the LRP pump that lets amyloid beta protein exit the brain into the bloodstream. It also revved up an entrance pump that transports amyloid beta into the brain. Both of these actions would increase the amount of amyloid beta protein in the brain."

Banks then gave mice indomethacin, which prevented inflammation from turning off the LRP (exit pump).

His findings help to explain what doctors who are studying the use of indomethacin to treat people with Alzheimer's disease are seeing in their clinical practice.

"Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, especially indomethacin, have been associated with protection against Alzheimer's disease. Our work could influence that debate and thinking at the patient-care level," Banks said.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Saint Louis University. "Inflammation May Trigger Alzheimer's Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708181204.htm>.
Saint Louis University. (2009, July 9). Inflammation May Trigger Alzheimer's Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708181204.htm
Saint Louis University. "Inflammation May Trigger Alzheimer's Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708181204.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A new study found fewer deaths from prescription drug overdoses in states that have legalized medical marijuana. But experts disagree on the results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heart Group: E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers Quit

Heart Group: E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers Quit

AP (Aug. 25, 2014) The American Heart Association's first policy statement on electronic cigarettes backs them as a last resort to help smokers quit and calls for more regulation to keep them away from youth. (Aug. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Push For Later Start Times As School Year Kicks Off

Doctors Push For Later Start Times As School Year Kicks Off

Newsy (Aug. 25, 2014) The American Academy of Pediatrics is the latest group pushing for middle schools and high schools to start later, for the sake of their kids. Video provided by Newsy
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