Some brain supplements may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease

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Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people worldwide.

It is characterized by the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain, which lead to cognitive decline, memory loss, and other neurological symptoms.

In a recent study from the University of California San Diego, scientists have identified a potential biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease that could provide an early warning sign of the condition.

They found that high levels of an enzyme called PHGDH in the blood of older adults could indicate the presence of Alzheimer’s disease, even in its early stages before cognitive symptoms manifest.

PHGDH is a key enzyme in the production of the amino acid serine, which is essential for the synthesis of proteins and the maintenance of healthy brain function.

The researchers found that the increased PHGDH expression found in Alzheimer’s patients suggests that the rate of serine production in the brain is also increased.

The study analyzed genetic data collected from post-mortem human brains from subjects in four different research cohorts, each made up of 40 to 50 individuals 50 years and older.

The participants consisted of Alzheimer’s patients, asymptomatic individuals, and healthy controls.

The team showed a consistent increase in PHGDH expression among Alzheimer’s patients and asymptomatic individuals in all four cohorts compared to the healthy controls.

Moreover, expression levels were higher the more advanced the disease. This trend was also observed in two different mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers also found that the worse the cognitive test scores, the higher the expression of PHGDH in the brain.

These findings have important implications for the use of dietary supplements that contain serine as a remedy for Alzheimer’s disease.

Clinical trials are already underway to test serine treatments in older adults experiencing cognitive decline.

However, with their data consistently showing increased PHGDH expression in Alzheimer’s, the researchers caution against taking additional serine as a supplement.

The team identified PHGDH as a potential blood biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease in a previous study.

The current findings further support this notion, suggesting that PHGDH expression in the blood may be a useful diagnostic tool for identifying individuals at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

In conclusion, this study highlights the potential of PHGDH as a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease and emphasizes the need for caution when using serine supplements to treat or prevent the condition.

Further research is needed to fully understand the role of PHGDH and serine in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and to explore their potential as therapeutic targets.

Currently, there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are several ways to potentially reduce the risk of developing the condition. Here are some strategies that may help:

Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity has been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Exercise may help improve blood flow to the brain, increase the production of new brain cells, and reduce inflammation, all of which may be beneficial in preventing the disease.

Maintain a healthy diet: A balanced and healthy diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats, may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Some studies have suggested that a Mediterranean-style diet, which includes plenty of plant-based foods and healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, may be particularly beneficial.

Stay mentally active: Keeping your brain stimulated through activities like reading, puzzles, and socializing may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These activities can help build new neural connections and may help delay cognitive decline.

Manage chronic conditions: Conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Managing these conditions through lifestyle changes and medication may help reduce the risk.

The study was conducted by Sheng Zhong et al and published in Cell Metabolism.

If you care about dementia, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and Vitamin B supplements could help reduce dementia risk.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies that cranberries could help boost memory, and many older people have this non-Alzheimer’s dementia.

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