Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vulnerable brain region may be central to progression of Alzheimer's disease

Date:
November 7, 2010
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
New research is helping to unravel the events that underlie the "spread" of Alzheimer's disease (AD) throughout the brain. The research follows disease progression from a vulnerable brain region that is affected early in the disease to interconnected brain regions that are affected in later stages. The findings may contribute to design of therapeutic interventions as targeting the brain region where AD originates would be simpler than targeting multiple brain areas.

3-D image of a mouse brain with the location of the entorhinal cortex (yellow) and hippocampus (purple) highlighted.
Credit: Image courtesy of Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease

New research is helping to unravel the events that underlie the "spread" of Alzheimer's disease (AD) throughout the brain. The research, published by Cell Press in the November 4th issue of the journal Neuron, follows disease progression from a vulnerable brain region that is affected early in the disease to interconnected brain regions that are affected in later stages. The findings may contribute to design of therapeutic interventions as targeting the brain region where AD originates would be simpler than targeting multiple brain areas.

Related Articles


An alteration in brain levels of amyloid β-proteins (Aβ) plays a major pathogenic role in AD, a devastating neurodegenerative disorder that causes progressive cognitive impairment and memory loss. AD is characterized by abnormal accumulation of Aβ in the brain, which leads to the formation of protein aggregates that are toxic to neurons. Aβ peptides are generated when a large protein called amyloid precursor protein (APP) is cut up into smaller pieces.

One of the first brain regions affected in AD is the entorhinal cortex (EC). Communication between the EC and the hippocampus is critical for memory and disruption of this circuit may play a role in memory impairment in the beginning stages of AD. "It is not clear how EC dysfunction contributes to cognitive decline in AD or whether early vulnerability of the EC initiates the spread of dysfunction through interconnected neural networks," explains senior study author, Dr. Lennart Mucke from the Gladstone Institutes and the University of California, San Francisco. "To address these questions, we studied transgenic mice with spatially restricted overexpression of mutant APP primarily in neurons of the EC."

Dr. Mucke and colleagues found that overexpression of mutant APP/Aβ selectively in the EC led to age-dependent deficits in learning and memory along with other behavioral deficits, including hyperactivity and disinhibition. Importantly, these abnormalities are similar to those observed in mouse models of AD with mutant APP expression throughout the brain. The researchers also observed abnormalities in the hippocampus, including dysfunction of synapses and Aβ deposits in part of the hippocampus that receive input from the EC.

"Our findings directly support the hypothesis that AD-related dysfunction is propagated through networks of neurons, with the EC as an important hub region of early vulnerability," concludes Dr. Mucke. "Although additional studies are needed to better understand how events in the EC are related to AD, it is conceivable that early interference in the EC might be of therapeutic benefit, perhaps halting disease progression."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Julie A. Harris, Nino Devidze, Laure Verret, Kaitlyn Ho, Brian Halabisky, Myo T. Thwin, Daniel Kim, Patricia Hamto, Iris Lo, Gui-Qiu Yu, Jorge J. Palop, Eliezer Masliah, Lennart Mucke. Transsynaptic Progression of Amyloid-β-Induced Neuronal Dysfunction within the Entorhinal-Hippocampal Network. Neuron, 2010; 68 (3): 428-441 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.10.020

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Vulnerable brain region may be central to progression of Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101103135239.htm>.
Cell Press. (2010, November 7). Vulnerable brain region may be central to progression of Alzheimer's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101103135239.htm
Cell Press. "Vulnerable brain region may be central to progression of Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101103135239.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. 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:

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