Control Of Fatty Acids May Lead To Alzheimer's Treament

Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and the University of California may be on the trail of a new treatment of Alzheimer's Disease... a diet and drug to reduce fatty acids in the brain!

Long range studies of Alzheimer's patients all seem to point to improper diet and lack of exercise as two of the factors leading to the disease, but in a new study by the Gladstone Institute, published in the October 2008 issue of Nature Neuroscience, it was reported that high levels of arachidonic acid were found in the brains of mice with Alzheimer's Disease. The release of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid, was found to be controlled by the PLA2 enzyme.

The scientists, using genetic engineering, lowered the PLA2 levels in the mice and found that memory impairments and behavioral alterations did not progress, nor did the mice die prematurely. This finding suggests that through medication and diet the PLA2 enzyme could be reduced or normalized in the brains of human Alzheimer's patients. The study leaves hope not only for a treatment of Alzheimer's but that the normalization of PLA2 might even help prevent the disease.

Though the researchers are hopeful, they say that it will be a long time before they will be able to test a PLA2 reduction strategy in humans.

via BBC News, Nature Neuroscience. Photo via BBC News


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