Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New link revealed between Alzheimer's disease and healthy aging

Date:
September 10, 2011
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration are two of the most prevalent forms of neurodegenerative disorders. Researchers have now analyzed changes in gene expression in the aging and diseased brain, finding new clues to the biology of normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) are two of the most prevalent forms of neurodegenerative disorders. In a study published online August 15 in Genome Research, researchers have analyzed changes in gene expression in the aging and diseased brain, finding new clues to the biology of normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

Recent studies have identified changes in how genes are read, or expressed, in the brain either during aging or with neurodegenerative disease. However, no previous study had directly compared gene expression changes in healthy aging with those in diseased individuals.

In this report, an international team of researchers analyzed and compared changes in gene expression associated with aging and disease in a region of the brain known to be affected in both Alzheimer's and FTLD. Comparing samples from healthy individuals ranging from 16 to 102 years old with samples from diseased individuals, the investigation uncovered striking similarity in the changes in gene expression patterns associated with aging and the neurodegenerative diseases.

"Surprisingly, these [diseased] samples contained the same aging-related changes as healthy individuals over the age of 80," said Dr. Jernej Ule of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, senior author of the study.

"Aging-related changes were apparent in the diseased individuals as young as 50 years," noted Dr. James Tollervey of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, the first author of the study, "roughly 25 years before we would expect to see similar changes in healthy individuals."

While the similarities were striking, the group also observed notable differences between gene expression in the normal aging brain and expression in Alzheimer's and FTLD, particularly in the patterns of alternative splicing, a process by which parts of a RNA molecule are arranged differently to change the message, which can be potentially harmful if misregulated.

In normal aging, changes in alternative splicing largely affected genes associated with cellular metabolism, while disease-specific changes were associated with genes involved in neuron-specific function. The group found that there were changes in the expression of several genes coding for RNA binding proteins, which is likely responsible for at least part of the observed alterations in splicing.

The authors expect that this work will have broad impact for further insight into both normal aging and neurodegenerative disease. "These findings indicate that studies of healthy aging could help unravel the processes that lead to neurodegeneration," said Ule.

"Conversely, our findings also indicate that studies of neurodegenerative diseases might help us understand how to delay the changes that take place in healthy individuals at an advanced age," added Dr. Boris Rogelj of the MRC Centre for Neurodegeneration Research at King's College London, a co-author of the study

Scientists from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (Cambridge, UK), the MRC Centre for Neurodegeneration Research (London, UK), the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (Hinxton, UK), Affymetrix, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA), and the University of Ljubljana (Ljubljana, Slovenia) contributed to this study.

This work was supported by the European Research Council, the Medical Research Council, the Slovenian Research Agency, and a Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council Strategic Grant Award.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tollervey JR, Wang Z, Hortobαgyi T, Witten JT, Zarnack K, Kayikci M, Clark TA, Schweitzer AC, Rot G, Curk T, Zupan B, Rogelj B, Shaw CE, Ule J. Analysis of alternative splicing associated with aging and neurodegeneration in the human brain. Genome Res, 2011 DOI: 10.1101/gr.122226.111

Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "New link revealed between Alzheimer's disease and healthy aging." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815172911.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2011, September 10). New link revealed between Alzheimer's disease and healthy aging. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815172911.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "New link revealed between Alzheimer's disease and healthy aging." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815172911.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) 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