Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is too much brain activity connected to Alzheimer's disease?

Date:
August 16, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
High baseline levels of neuronal activity in the best connected parts of the brain may play an important role in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

High baseline levels of neuronal activity in the best connected parts of the brain may play an important role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. This is the main conclusion of a new study appearing in PLoS Computational Biology from a group at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Related Articles


In recent times, it has become clear that brain activity patterns change at an early stage in Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, there is reason to believe that, instead of being the consequence of structural damage, they might be the cause: recently, a direct influence of excessive regional neuronal activity on Alzheimer pathology was found in animal experiments. By showing that highly connected 'hub' regions (which display most Alzheimer pathology) indeed possess the highest levels of activity, the present study offers support for the unconventional view that brain dynamics may play a causal role in Alzheimer. As first author, Willem de Haan, says, "this implies that the investigation of factors regulating neuronal activity may open up novel ways to detect, elucidate and counter the disease."

Using a realistic computational model of the human cortex, the authors simulated progressive synaptic damage to brain regions based on their level of activity, and subsequently investigated the effect on the remaining network. With this 'activity dependent degeneration' model, they could not only offer an explanation for the distribution pattern of Alzheimer pathology but also reproduce a range of phenomena encountered in actual neurophysiological data of Alzheimer patients: loss and slowing of neuronal activity, loss of communication between areas, and specific changes in brain network organization.

In upcoming projects the authors plan to verify the predictions from this study in patient data, but also to continue modeling studies. They conclude that: "the use of 'computational neurology' and network theory to unite experimental results and find plausible underlying principles in the growing bulk of human brain data seems inevitable."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Willem de Haan, Katherine Mott, Elisabeth C. W. van Straaten, Philip Scheltens, Cornelis J. Stam. Activity Dependent Degeneration Explains Hub Vulnerability in Alzheimer's Disease. PLoS Computational Biology, 2012; 8 (8): e1002582 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002582

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Is too much brain activity connected to Alzheimer's disease?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816201614.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, August 16). Is too much brain activity connected to Alzheimer's disease?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816201614.htm
Public Library of Science. "Is too much brain activity connected to Alzheimer's disease?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816201614.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. 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