Researchers at Columbia University have conducted a study that supports the “amyloid hypothesis” that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the accumulation of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain.
The study found that amyloid triggers a partnership between two proteins in the brain’s neurons, and this partnership is linked to around half of the gene changes that occur in Alzheimer’s disease.
These changes cause the accumulation of tau proteins, which are a primary driver of neurodegeneration in the disease.
The researchers identified two proteins, ATF4 and CREB3L2, which pair together and are activated by amyloid.
This pairing leads to the accumulation of tau proteins in the brain, as well as the impairment of the cellular machinery responsible for clearing old and damaging proteins from neurons.
Although the two proteins are found alone in healthy neurons, they bind together more frequently in the presence of excess amyloid.
The study suggests that targeting the ATF4-CREB3L2 protein pair could be a viable treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers have identified a drug, dovitinib, that interferes with the effects of the protein pair.
Although the drug has been approved by the FDA for treating renal cancer, it has not yet been tested for treating Alzheimer’s.
However, the researchers are optimistic about its potential, as the drug is not toxic to neurons and can cross the blood-brain barrier.
In conclusion, this study provides new evidence for the amyloid hypothesis and a potential new target for Alzheimer’s disease treatment.
By targeting the ATF4-CREB3L2 protein pair, the researchers hope to slow or even stop the progression of the disease.
The findings of the study are promising and offer hope for the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
How to treat Alzheimer’s disease
There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
The most commonly prescribed medications for Alzheimer’s disease are cholinesterase inhibitors, such as donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine.
These medications work by increasing the levels of acetylcholine in the brain, a chemical that is important for memory and learning.
Another medication that is sometimes used to treat Alzheimer’s disease is memantine.
This medication works by regulating the activity of glutamate, a chemical that is involved in learning and memory. Memantine is typically used in combination with a cholinesterase inhibitor.
In addition to medication, other treatments can help manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
For example, occupational therapy and speech therapy can help improve communication skills and maintain independence. Physical therapy can help maintain mobility and prevent falls.
Additionally, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and social engagement can help improve overall well-being and quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
It is also important for people with Alzheimer’s disease to receive emotional support and care from their family members and caregivers.
Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging for both the person with the disease and their loved ones, but with appropriate support and treatment, it is possible to manage the symptoms and maintain a good quality of life.
If you care about Alzheimer’s disease, please read studies about personality traits linked to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s, and nutrients that may hold the key to beating Alzheimer’s.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce dementia risk, and coconut oil could help improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s.
The study was conducted by Cláudio Gouveia Roque et al and published in Science Advances.
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