ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

Is Magnesium the Missing Link in Your Heart Healthy Routine?

More evidence for calorie restriction’s longevity effect

A Little Zinc Goes a Long Way

Supplementation with vitamin D associated with improved testosterone, erectile function among middle...

Vitamin D deficiency increases risk of chronic headache

VIDEO: The Best Brain Foods That Help Increase Your Memory!

Get the Most From Your Green Tea

Iron (And More) For Lasting, Natural Energy

Affordable Care Act made cancer screening more accessible for millions, study finds

Metabolic syndrome increases the need for vitamin E

 
Print Page
Email Article

Researchers Identify Brain Protein That Halts Progression of Alzheimer's

  [ 58 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • October 25, 2004


Source: NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Researchers have identified a protein in the brain that halts the progression of Alzheimer's disease in human brain tissue. The protein, known as "transthyretin," protects brain cells from gradual deterioration by blocking another toxic protein that contributes to the disease process. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a component of the National Institutes of Health, provided $1.25 million to University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists for the transthyretin study.

The scientists will present their findings October 26 at the 34th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego, Calif. "The results of this study are promising," said Kenneth Olden, Ph.D., director of the NIEHS. "More studies are needed to understand how transthyretin can be used in treating Alzheimer's patients."

Alzheimer's disease progresses when a toxic protein, known as "beta-amyloid," attacks the brain's nerve cells involved in learning and memory. The beta-amyloid creates sticky plaques and tangles that gradually disable nerve cells, producing memory loss. Transthyretin appears to protect brain cells by intercepting the beta-amyloid and preventing it from interacting with the brain tissue.

"Based on the results of animal studies, we know that the disease process depends in large part on the delicate balance between the 'good' transthyretin protein and the 'bad' beta-amyloid protein," says Dr. Jeff Johnson, associate professor at the University of Wisconsin's School of Pharmacy and lead author on the study. "In Alzheimer's patients, the 'bad' proteins significantly outnumber the 'good' proteins."

Johnson discovered the effect of transthyretin while studying mice genetically engineered with defective genes taken from human patients with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. As expected, the defective genes produced mice with higher-than-normal levels of the toxic beta-amyloid protein. These mice did not, however, exhibit symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. "We have a mouse whose brain is bathing in toxic beta-amyloid without exhibiting disease symptoms," says Johnson. "We were all asking the same question – Why aren't these nerve cells dying?"

Dr. Thor Stein, a researcher in Johnson's laboratory and first author of the study, then analyzed the brains of mice and noticed that the levels of transthyretin had increased dramatically. When Stein treated the mouse brain with an antibody that prevented transthyretin from reacting with the beta-amyloid protein, the mice showed brain cell death. "We concluded that the transthyretin must have protected the brain cells from the toxic effects of the beta-amyloid," says Johnson.

Test tube studies with cultured brain cells from human cortex support the findings. When Stein treated human brain cells with the transthyretin protein, then exposed the cells to the toxic beta-amyloid, the brain cell death was minimal. "Now that we have demonstrated that this protective mechanism is relevant to humans, we can start to identify strategies to slow nerve degeneration in Alzheimer's patients," says Johnson. According to Johnson, this would involve developing drugs that would boost the transthyretin within the brain or methods depositing transthyretin into the brain.

"Hopefully this research will inspire a new approach to the treatment of Alzheimer's, one focused on preventing the loss of the brain cells instead of treating the resulting symptoms." Johnson foresees a time when family members with a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease could take a yet-undeveloped drug to increase transthyretin protein and prevent the disease from developing. Theoretically, the drug also could be given in the early stages of Alzheimer's to stop progression of the disease, preserving a higher level of cognitive function in patients.

The transthyretin discovery will likely impact the screening of environmental chemicals for their potential role in causing or exacerbating Alzheimer's disease. "Researchers could develop tests that determine whether a particular chemical or agent in the environment is able to shift the delicate balance between the 'good' and 'bad' proteins," notes Johnson. "This would allow scientists to establish definitive links between environmental exposures and Alzheimer's disease pathology."



Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Ultra ATP+, Double Strength

Looking for Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements?
Search the ProHealth Store for Hundreds of Natural Health Products


Article Comments



Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment


 
NAD+ Ignite with Niagen

Featured Products

Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid

Natural Remedies

Itching to Find Dry Skin Relief? Itching to Find Dry Skin Relief?
Guarding Against the Dangers of Vitamin D Deficiency Guarding Against the Dangers of Vitamin D Deficiency
Soothe, Heal and Regulate Your Digestive System with Nutrient-Rich Aloe Vera Soothe, Heal and Regulate Your Digestive System with Nutrient-Rich Aloe Vera
Why Berries Offer a Rainbow of Health Benefits Why Berries Offer a Rainbow of Health Benefits
Magnesium + Malic Acid: One-Two Punch for Pain & Fatigue Magnesium + Malic Acid: One-Two Punch for Pain & Fatigue

CONTACT US
ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE
Credit Card Processing
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
Get the latest news about Fibromyalgia, M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease and Natural Wellness

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2017 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map