Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Progression of smell loss offers clues to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Date:
April 7, 2011
Source:
NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Summary:
Loss of smell is a characteristic early symptom among people with Alzheimer's disease, but the relationship between olfactory dysfunction and the progression of the disease is still relatively unknown. New findings propose a pathological mechanism in the olfactory bulb, a small area of the brain above and behind the nose that transmits smell information to other areas of the brain for processing, could play a key role.

Loss of smell is a characteristic early symptom among people with Alzheimer's disease, but the relationship between olfactory dysfunction and the progression of the disease is still relatively unknown.

Daniel Wesson, Ph.D., will be presenting findings based on research funded by the NIDCD and conducted with colleagues at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, the NYU School of Medicine, and Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

Their findings propose a pathological mechanism in the olfactory bulb, a small area of the brain above and behind the nose that transmits smell information to other areas of the brain for processing, could play a key role. Wesson and his colleagues used a mouse model that overexpresses a human mutation of amyloid precursor protein, a protein involved in making amyloid-beta (Aβ), which is the primary component of the plaques that form in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

When the mice were 3 months old, the researchers observed Aβ buildup in the olfactory bulb before accumulation in other brain areas and abnormal nervous hyperactivity within the olfactory bulb and the olfactory cortex, which receives input from the olfactory bulb. At 6 months of age, the mice showed impairment in their ability to smell. Later, at 16 months, as olfactory impairment persisted, and Aβ levels increased, the olfactory system became hypoactive.

To directly test whether Aβ caused the dysfunction of olfactory behavior and neural activity, they administered a drug that helps break down Aβ. The drug reduced Aβ plaques by more than 50 percent in the olfactory system and other brain areas and also restored behavioral and neural olfactory function.

Removing one olfactory bulb lowered the amount of Aβ found 6 months later on that side of the brain by more than 50 percent, even in regions that receive no direct olfactory bulb input. This supports a role for early-life olfactory bulb output in the spread of Aβ throughout the brain.

These findings offer three potential applications: a new diagnostic marker that could help doctors diagnose Alzheimer's at earlier stages of the disease; a potential treatment to restore olfactory function in Alzheimer's patients; and a novel pathway for exploring drugs that could, ideally, slow or stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Other collaborators include: Anne H Borkowski, B.S., Gary E Landreth, Ph.D., Efrat Levy, Ph.D., Ralph A Nixon, M.D., Ph.D., and Donald A Wilson, Ph.D.

The platform presentation "Network dysfunction, olfactory behavior impairments, and their reversibility in an Alzheimer's β-amyloidosis mouse model" (#20) takes place Friday, April 15 at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. "Progression of smell loss offers clues to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406192513.htm>.
NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. (2011, April 7). Progression of smell loss offers clues to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406192513.htm
NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. "Progression of smell loss offers clues to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110406192513.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. 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