Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Age-related dementia may begin with neurons' inability to rid themselves of unwanted proteins

Date:
March 5, 2013
Source:
Genetics Society of America
Summary:
New research explains a novel interaction between aging and how neurons dispose of unwanted proteins and why this impacts the rising prevalence of dementia with advancing age.

A team of European scientists from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the Cologne Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases (CECAD) at the University of Cologne in Germany has taken an important step closer to understanding the root cause of age-related dementia. In research involving both worms and mice, they have found that age-related dementia is likely the result of a declining ability of neurons to dispose of unwanted aggregated proteins.

As protein disposal becomes significantly less efficient with increasing age, the buildup of these unwanted proteins ultimately leads to the development and progression of dementia.

"By studying disease progression in dementia, specifically by focusing on mechanisms neurons use to dispose of unwanted proteins, we show how these are interconnected and how these mechanisms deteriorate over time," said Markus Glatzel, M.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Institute of Neuropathology at UKE in Hamburg, Germany. "This gives us a better understanding as to why dementias affect older persons; the ultimate aim is to use these insights to devise novel therapies to restore the full capacity of protein disposal in aged neurons."

To make this discovery, scientists carried out their experiments in both worm and mouse models that had a genetically-determined dementia in which the disease was caused by protein accumulation in neurons. In the worm model, researchers in the lab of Thorsten Hoppe, Ph.D., from the CECAD Cluster of Excellence could inactivate distinct routes used for the disposal of the unwanted proteins. Results provided valuable insight into the mechanisms that neurons use to cope with protein accumulation. These pathways were then assessed in young and aged mice. This study provides an explanation of why dementias exponentially increase with age. Additionally, neuron protein disposal methods may offer a therapeutic target for the development of drugs to treat and/or prevent dementias.

"This is an exciting study that helps us understand what's going wrong at a cellular level in age-related dementias," said Mark Johnston, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of the journal GENETICS. "This research holds possibilities for future identification of substances that can prevent, stop, or reverse this cellular malfunction in humans."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Genetics Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Schipanski, S. Lange, A. Segref, A. Gutschmidt, D. A. Lomas, E. Miranda, M. Schweizer, T. Hoppe, M. Glatzel. A Novel Interaction Between Aging and ER Overload in a Protein Conformational Dementia. Genetics, 2013; 193 (3): 865 DOI: 10.1534/genetics.112.149088

Cite This Page:

Genetics Society of America. "Age-related dementia may begin with neurons' inability to rid themselves of unwanted proteins." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305154500.htm>.
Genetics Society of America. (2013, March 5). Age-related dementia may begin with neurons' inability to rid themselves of unwanted proteins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305154500.htm
Genetics Society of America. "Age-related dementia may begin with neurons' inability to rid themselves of unwanted proteins." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130305154500.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

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
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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