As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: January 15, 2013
by Brain Posts:
The relationship between obesity and risk for Alzheimer’s disease is a controversial area of research.
Several studies have found a prospective increase in risk for Alzheimer’s disease in those with obesity. However, the association has been inconsistent. Some studies have even found a reduced risk of later Alzheimer’s disease in overweight populations.
One method to further investigate the possible obesity-Alzheimer’s risk association is through direct genetic studies of genes known to be related to obesity. Christiane Reitz and colleagues from the U.S. National Institute on Aging recently published this type of study in the journal PLOS One.
They focused on polymorphisms of the Fat and Obesity-Associated (FTO) gene. The FTO gene is located on the q arm of human chromosome 15. Polymorphisms associated with FTO intron 1, intron 2 and exon 2 have been linked to increased rates for obesity and also have some evidence of being linked to risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
To study this issue in more detail, Reitz and colleagues conducted a single nucleotide protein (SNP) analysis of the FTO gene in Alzheimer’s disease subjects and controls. Two independent samples with a combined sample size approaching 3000 subjects were used in the SNP analysis. Additionally, they conducted a FTO gene expression analysis of Alzheimer’s disease cases that had been confirmed by brain neuropathological analysis.
The key finds from this genetic study were:
The authors note their study findings “confirm the association between genetic variation in Intron 1, Exon 2 or Intron 2 in the FTO gene and AD”. (AD=Alzheimer’s disease).
They propose several mechanisms for this association. FTO gene status increases risk for hyperinsulinemia and type II diabetes, known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. They note a second potential mechanism where FTO gene status contributes to Alzheimer’s disease by a vascular pathology (i.e. hypertension, lipid dysregulation, atherosclerosis). Finally, they note obesity increases inflammatory markers by increasing adipokines and cytokines that may contribute to risk or severity of Alzheimer’s disease.
This is an important study in the ongoing search to understand the effect of obesity on Alzheimer’s disease risk. Exploring genetic mechanisms is a promising approach to complement epidemiological risk factor studies to advance our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease.
Recent findings suggested the serotonin system may be an effective target for prevention and treatment of mild cognitive impairment. “Now that we have more evidence that serotonin is a chemical that appears affected early in...
By the time you start losing your memory, it’s almost too late. That’s because the damage to your brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may already have been going on for as long as twenty years....
For decades, the only way to officially diagnose Alzheimer’s disease was by analysing a patient’s brain during a postmortem. More recently, physicians have been able to use positron emission tomography scans of the brains of living people...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.