Protein Treatment Staves Off Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms

Protein Treats Alzheimer’s Disease

Protein Treats Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, with over 1,200 individuals developing the disease every day. A new paper in the Journal of Neuroscience from lead author Dena Dubal of the University of California, San Francisco describes how manipulating levels of a protein associated with memory can stave off Alzheimer’s symptoms, even in the presence of the disease-causing toxins.

Klotho is a transmembrane protein associated with longevity. The body makes less of this protein over time, and low levels of klotho is connected to a number of diseases including osteoporosis, heart disease, increased risk of stroke, and decreased cognitive function. These factors lead to diminished quality of life and even early death.

Previous research has shown that increasing klotho levels in healthy mice leads to increased cognitive function. This current paper from Dubal’s team builds on that research by increasing klotho in mice who are also expressing large amounts of amyloid-beta and tau, proteins that are associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Remarkably, even with high levels of these toxic, disease-causing proteins, the mice with elevated klotho levels were able to retain their cognitive function.

“It’s remarkable that we can improve cognition in a diseased brain despite the fact that it’s riddled with toxins,” Dubal said in a press release. “In addition to making healthy mice smarter, we can make the brain resistant to Alzheimer-related toxicity. Without having to target the complex disease itself, we can provide greater resilience and boost brain functions.”

The mechanism behind this cognitive preservation appears to be klotho interacting with a glutamate receptor called NMDA, which is critically important to synaptic transmission, thus influencing learning, memory, and executive function. Alzheimer’s disease typically damages these receptors, but the mice with elevated klotho were able to retain both NMDA function and cognition. Part of the success also appears to be due to the preservation of the NMDA subunit GluN2B, which existed in significantly larger numbers than the control mice. The mechanism and the results of this study will need to be investigated further before developing it into a possible treatment for humans in the future.

“The next step will be to identify and test drugs that can elevate klotho or mimic its effects on the brain,” added senior author Lennart Mucke from Gladstone Institutes. “We are encouraged in this regard by the strong similarities we found between klotho’s effects in humans and mice in our earlier study. We think this provides good support for pursuing klotho as a potential drug target to treat cognitive disorders in humans, including Alzheimer’s disease.”

 

Source:  iflscience.com

Anxiety Linked to Risk of Stroke

Anxiety Linked to Risk of Stroke:

 

Anxiety Linked to Risk of Stroke

Anxiety Linked to Risk of Stroke

 

 

 

A study is the first to link researchers anxiety and stroke independent of other factors such as depression . Anxiety is one of the most common problems of mental health. Symptoms include worried, stressed , nervous or tense feeling.

A period of 22 years, researchers studied a nationally representative group of 6,019 people aged 25-74 in the first National Health Examination Survey and Nutrition.

Participants underwent an interview and took blood tests, medical examinations and complete psychological questionnaires to measure levels of anxiety and depression . Researchers studied strokes through the reports of the hospital or nursing home , and death certificates. After accounting for other factors , they found that even a modest increase in anxiety were associated with an increased risk of stroke.

People in the highest third anxiety symptoms had a 33 percent higher risk of stroke than those with the lowest levels .

” Everyone has some anxiety from time to time . But when is high and / or chronic, can have an effect on the vasculature years down the road ,” said Maya Lambiase , Ph.D. , study author and cardiovascular medicine behavior researcher at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh.

People with high levels of anxiety are more likely to smoke and be physically inactive, possibly explaining part of the link of anxiety – trait . The levels of stress hormones , heart rate or blood pressure could also be factors , Lambiase said.

In previous work , researchers found that depression was associated with an increased risk of stroke , which is the No. 4 murderer and a leading cause of disability in the United States. In contrast to anxiety , depression is a persistent feeling of hopelessness, discouragement and lack of energy, among other symptoms.

American Deaths Surpass 2.5 Million

U.S. Mortality Rate: Deaths Surpass 2.5 Million For The First Time:

 U.S. Mortality Rate: Deaths Surpass 2.5 Million For The First Time


U.S. Mortality Rate: Deaths Surpass 2.5 Million For The First Time

U.S. deaths surpassed 2.5 million for the first time last year, reflecting the nation’s growing and aging population. The increase of about 45,000 more deaths than in 2010 was not surprising. The annual number of deaths has been generally rising for decades as the population has swelled. “If you have an older population, of course you have more deaths,” said Qian Cai, a University of Virginia demographer who studies population trends. “That doesn’t mean the population is less healthy or less vital.” Before last year, the largest number of deaths was 2.47 million in 2008. The number of deaths can jump up or down from year to year, depending on whether there was a bad flu season or other factors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Wednesday. It’s drawn from a review of most death certificates from last year. The report found that the rate of deaths per 100,000 people actually dropped to an all-time low. That was offset by the fact that there are so many Americans — about 314 million. Other report highlights:

—U.S. life expectancy for a child born in 2011 was about 78 years and 8 months, the same as it was in 2010.

—Women aren’t outliving men as much as they used to. The gap in life expectancy between the sexes, which was nearly 8 years at its widest in 1979, remained at less than 5 years in 2011.

—The infant mortality rate dropped again slightly, to a new low of 6.05 deaths per 1,000 births.

—Heart disease and cancer remain the top killers, accounting for nearly half the nation’s deaths. But the death rates from both continued to decline.

—Death rates fell for three other leading causes: stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and kidney disease.

Flu and pneumonia became the 8th leading killer, replacing kidney disease. Also increasing were the death rates for diabetes, chronic lower respiratory diseases, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, Parkinson’s disease, and pneumonitis. The rise in pneumonitis deaths is another sign of an aging population. Mainly in people 75 and older, it happens when food or vomit goes down the windpipe and causes deadly damage to the lungs. The increase in deaths is occurring at a time U.S. births have been falling for several years, but there more than enough newborns to replace Americans who die. The number of births last year was close to 4 million. Add in immigrants, and the total population is growing by 2 million to 3 million people a year.