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: June 8, 2012
by Kristi Davis for Daily Rx:
Astrocytes are supporting cells that are protective and do house-keeping for neurons in the brain. Beta amyloid build-up in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) may cause the astrocytes to defend themselves.
A new study found that astrocytes defend themselves against increasing amounts beta amyloid. They create a chemical package that damages both the astrocyte and the neuron. This process may explain part of loss of brain tissue in AD.
In AD, Beta amyloid proteins build-up in the brain and form plaques. AD also shows loss of brain tissue as it progresses, and it has been thought that the beta amyloid plaques are part of the process of brain degeneration.
Researchers, led by Guanghu Wang, PhD, at the Georgia Health Sciences University, conducted a study and found that astrocytes respond to the build-up of beta amyloid by creating a chemical package that damages theastrocyte.
Previous research has shown, in both human and rodent studies, that certain chemicals in the brain change in response to beta amyloid.
The current study looked at astrocytes in the lab, extracted from the brains of rodents, to try to determine how the astrocytes were responding to betaamyloid.
Wang and colleagues found that beta amyloid irritates astrocytes, and theastrocytes respond by packaging a lipid ceramide and PAR-4 proteins together. This potent package leads to the death of the astrocyte. When astrocytes die, their neurons die, too.
The authors conclude that this process where astrocytes are involved in the death of neurons in response to beta amyloid could be targeted by drugs. This may present a new avenue for slowing brain damage during Alzheimer’s. More research is needed.
The study was published online in April in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health; no conflicts of interest were disclosed.
Picture Source: Wikipedia
Although it’s normal for brainpower to decline as people age, it’s not inevitable, studies show. Some people remain cognitively sharp into their 80s, 90s, and beyond, defying the common assumption that cognitive decline is a...
Physical pain is unpleasant, yet it’s vital for survival because it’s a warning that your body is in danger. It tells you to take your hand off a hot burner...
It is with tremendous sadness that we mourn the loss of our Founding Board Member and dear friend Ken Aber, a beautiful soul, full of love, creativity, and generosity. Ken’s commitment to his craft was...
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.