Big data can help fight Alzheimer’s disease

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In the United States, 5.4 million people aged 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s disease. The numbers grow annually as the population ages.

In a recent study, scientists found that big data can help fight Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease has always had its puzzles and contradictions.

Cognitive resilience is a measure of the brain’s ability to continue to work even with a high Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology that would normally produce the hallmark dementia.

This means that in some people, the brain shows the symptoms of the disease, but it does not impact the person’s ability to function. What makes some brains sensitive, and some resilient is an open question.

In the study, researchers examined a large Alzheimer’s disease cohort of over 1800 people.

The researchers drew on previously collected blood samples and brain tissue, along with large-scale data analysis to search for central themes in early identification, prevention, and treatment of the disease.

The research findings help explain the progression of Alzheimer’s-related dementia in each patient.

Further, the findings outline a multilevel biological classification system that predicts disease severity and future neurological symptoms.

The discovery is particularly timely, as November is Alzheimer’s disease awareness month.

These types of large-scale studies, exploring proteins and protein-related data are often called proteomics studies.

Proteomics research involves the ability to analyze very large data sets.

Examining, identifying, and discovering proteins can answer specific biological questions about their role in the disease, as well as identifying multiple new drug targets in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Some symptoms of the disease are due to the misfolding of proteins. Proteins need to have a specific shape to function correctly, and much like baking a cake, changing the recipe can result in a misshapen product.

Alzheimer’s disease can cause protein recipes to change. This research adds to the emerging body of work on proteins involved in cognitive decline that is associated with the disease.

These proteins may indicate potential new targets for drug therapies.

Even with such a large body of work, the puzzle still only gets put together one piece at a time, with lots of smaller parts that make sense, but a yet-to-be-discovered larger view.

The team continues work that adds to our understanding of a complex and devastating disease. This promises new discoveries, and new pieces to add to the puzzle of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you care about Alzheimer’s disease, please read studies about the cause of memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease, and scientists find a new method to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies that herb rosemary could help fight Alzheimer’s disease and COVID-19, and results showing this stuff in mouth may help prevent Alzheimer’s.

The study was conducted by Vladislav Petyuk et al and published in Science Advances.

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