Alzheimer's Disease

This is a thread for all things related to Alzheimer’s Disease

Dysregulation of brain iron metabolism and iron accumulation is known to be associated with ageing and AD, although underlying mechanisms remain unclear. It is known that iron load and inflammation regulate the synthesis of hepcidin, the main iron regulatory protein. In particular, the inflammation-modulating cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6), also known to modulate brain-muscle crosstalk, is involved in the activation of hepcidin synthesis in the brain. Although regular physical exercise is known to have a beneficial effect on total body iron metabolism and anti-inflammatory action, the role of regular exercise on iron homeostasis in the brain and in the context of AD remains unclear.

The researchers utilised wildtype mice and 5xFAD transgenic mice, modelling AD to explore the effect of regular physical exercise on the modulation of iron homeostasis. Half of the mice had unlimited use of a running wheel during the six-month experiment. The levels of iron and iron-related proteins were analysed in the brain and skeletal muscle. The researchers also investigated the potential involvement of iron in the crosstalk between the brain and periphery upon regular exercise.

The current study demonstrates that regular physical exercise modulates iron storage and trafficking in both the brain and skeletal muscle. Moreover, this study is the first to report a reduction of cortical hepcidin in response to regular physical exercise. The results suggest that IL-6 is a key modulator of hepcidin in exercise-induced brain iron modulation. These findings help to better understand why regular exercise is beneficial in AD, and may provide new insight for disease prevention or effective treatment approaches.

The study was conducted in the Neurobiology of Disease laboratory led by Associate Professor Katja Kanninen at the University of Eastern Finland. The study was supported by the Academy of Finland, the Sigrid Juselius foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, and the University of Eastern Finland.

Source: University of Eastern Finland

tl;dr: exercise is good for your health.

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I wonder if there’s any study with psychodelics and alzheimer’s

Indeed, there are…

Very interesting. Psychedelics is commonly considered to have a rewiring effect. Given there’s a degradation of memory for Alzheimer’s, I wonder if this rewiring is a plus or minus…

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It was just a quick google search…I didn’t read much of it and certainly don’t claim to understand any of it…also, I just wanted to figure out how to spell “psychedelics” :wink:.

**** Alzheimer’s!!! :rage: :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

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Yup.

My MIL has it and when my FIL spent a month in the hospital this winter my wife had to provide almost 24/7 care. It was horrible. We found a facility for her that’s pretty good, but it’s awful seeing what she has become.

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Scientists find medications that reverse Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers have managed to reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in mice by administering drugs currently used to treat hypertension and inflammation in humans.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in Western societies and it is estimated that 24 million people worldwide have this condition.

ICREA researcher Dr Patrick Aloy , head of the Structural Bioinformatics and Network Biology lab at IRB Barcelona, has headed a study that has managed to reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in mice by administering drugs currently used to treat hypertension and inflammation in humans.

In this study, the scientists led by Dr Aloy have characterised three stages of Alzheimer’s disease, namely initial, intermediate and advanced. For each of these stages, they have analysed the behaviour of the animals, studied the effects on the brain (specifically the hippocampus at the tissue level) and performed a molecular analysis to measure gene expression and protein levels.

The approach adopted has allowed them to describe the development of the disease at a level of detail hitherto unknown and also compare it with healthy ageing. “What we have observed is that, although Alzheimer’s disease shares some features of accelerated ageing, it is also affected by totally different ageing processes,” says Dr Aloy. “This disease is caused by the abnormal accumulation of certain proteins, and we have seen that, in some cases, this is not caused by overproduction but by an error in their removal,” he adds.

Having characterised the disease, the scientists used the Chemical Checker, a computational tool developed by the same research group to find drugs already on the market with the capacity to reverse the effects at the cellular level.

This tool has allowed them to identify a series of possible candidates, which were tested in various mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. Four drugs – two non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and two anti-hypertensives, proved effective at reversing the disease and neutralising symptoms in these mice.

“Epidemiological studies already indicated that people who regularly take antiinflammatories show a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, but this had not been correlated with a specific medication or mechanism. The results that we are publishing are most promising, and we hope that further research can be done on them because they could give rise to a paradigm shift in the treatment of this disease,” says Dr Aloy.

In addition to paving new avenues of research for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, the characterisation of the distinct stages of this condition published in this study favours early diagnosis.

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage, when damage to the brain is still minimal, is one of the main research focuses to tackle this condition and to reduce symptoms.

This work has been done in collaboration with the RIKEN Center for Brain Science and the Institute of Brain Science, both in Japan, and the Biostatistics/Bioinformatics and also Proteomics core facility at IRB Barcelona. The study was funded by the European Research Council, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Government of Catalonia.

Source: ANI

tl;dr: “Four drugs – two non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and two anti-hypertensives, proved effective at reversing the disease and neutralising symptoms in these mice.” The effectiveness in humans is tbd.

There are other causes of dementia that can develop over time that aren’t Alzheimer’s. They suck, too.

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From the Brain Health Registry…

email with stock photos

Exciting Updates in the Alzheimer’s Field!

During this year’s annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), thousands of researchers gathered in San Diego, CA to present cutting-edge research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Several Brain Health Registry (BHR) researchers were among those presenting!

Brain Health Registry AAIC Highlights

During the conference, BHR Principal Investigator Dr. Mike Weiner described the enrollment of over 100,000 participants and study partners into the BHR. Furthermore, thousands of these individuals have been referred to additional research studies at other institutions to help facilitate important research.

Dr. Weiner also discussed BHR’s future directions and areas for improvement. A crucial objective is to enroll more participants of diverse racial, educational, and economic backgrounds to make the BHR more representative of the general population. This can help ensure that our research findings apply to everyone.

BHR Co-Investigator, Dr. Rachel Nosheny, facilitated presentations on ways in which data collected from a participant’s study partner (for example, a spouse or child) can provide valuable information about the participant’s memory and thinking.

Study partner insights may help researchers more efficiently identify individuals with impaired thinking and memory early on.

Dr. Miriam Ashford, a research scientist with BHR, shared research exploring participant experiences of BHR, such as whether the study site is easy to use, and how demographic characteristics like race and years of education shape these experiences.

Finally, Dr. Kristen Knight, a postdoctoral fellow with BHR, presented on how online data collected in BHR can be linked to whether a participant has increased amyloid in their brain — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. This could help improve screening tools for identifying Alzheimer’s remotely, rather than in a clinical setting.


Advancements in the Field: AAIC Takeaways

Other AAIC presentations spanned a broad range of subjects, from understanding the complex biology of Alzheimer’s disease to strategies for supporting caregivers of individuals with dementia. Here are a few of the many important topics discussed: ​

Drug discovery and clinical trials

Many Alzheimer’s drugs, including the recently FDA-approved Aduhelm, target sticky plaques of amyloid protein in the brain. These drugs aim to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

However, due to mixed results from amyloid drug trials, researchers are continually seeking other strategies for drug development. These include targeting inflammation or swelling in the brain, tangles of another protein called tau, and even insulin resistance.

◊ Social determinants of health and diversity in Alzheimer’s research ​

Key findings discussed at AAIC reinforced the critical role factors like economic background, race, ethnicity, and educational attainment play in shaping a person’s brain health and Alzheimer’s disease risk.

For example, a study of approximately 1,000 middle-aged adults found that experiencing interpersonal and institutional racism was associated with lower scores on memory assessments.

Several presenters enumerated strategies for recruiting and retaining underrepresented groups of participants in research studies, including community-engaged research methods.

◊ Lifestyle factors

It’s well-established that lifestyle factors like exercise and diet are integral to maintaining both physical and brain health.

Recent findings from a multi-year study of over 300 participants with mild cognitive impairment suggests that regular exercise, either aerobic or not, may help slow the progression of cognitive decline.

I wonder if dementia is like tripping