New study identifies link between Alzheimer's disease biomarkers in healthy adults

December 01, 2008

December 1, 2008, Amsterdam, The Netherlands -- A study published in the November issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease provides an insight into normal, physiological levels and association between proteins involved in development of Alzheimer's disease. A group of scientists and physicians from the University of Washington and Puget Sound Veterans' Affairs Health Care System in Seattle, in collaboration with groups from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California San Diego, performed a study in cognitively normal and generally healthy adults, from young to old (age range 21-88 years), of both genders, measuring levels of different brain-derived molecules associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Investigators determined that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of apolipoprotein E (apoE), one of the most important proteins involved in transfer of fatty substances between different brain cells, are highly correlated with the levels of proteins known to be involved in development of Alzheimer's disease, amyloid precursor protein (APP) and tau. While many studies have previously shown that apoE gene is very important for Alzheimer's disease development, the connection between apoE protein and other relevant CSF markers in healthy adults was not known. Although this type of study cannot establish causal associations, the results strongly suggest that the CSF levels of apoE may explain a significant proportion of the levels of APP- and tau-related biological markers in the healthy human brain, indicating a strong physiological link between apoE, APP and tau. In other words, the study points to a possibility that modulation of the levels of apoE may affect the levels of APP and tau in the brain.

Furthermore, the study has shown that people who have a "beneficial" genetic form of apoE (so-called APOE2), which is associated with lower risk of Alzheimer's disease, have lower CSF levels of beta-amyloid peptide 42, a molecule implicated in development of Alzheimer's disease plaques. This finding may explain some of the basis for the known protective effects of the APOE2 observed in large population studies.

Dr. Simona Vuletic, Northwest Lipid Metabolism and Diabetes Research Laboratories, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, commented, "Understanding the associations between these important molecules in the brain of cognitively normal, healthy people will help us develop better strategies not only for diagnosis, but possibly also better prevention and treatment for Alzheimer's disease. This study also provides baseline data and an opportunity to understand how these normal relationships change, leading to the disease."
-end-
The article is "Apolipoprotein E Highly Correlates with AβPP- and Tau-Related Markers in Human Cerebrospinal Fluid" by Simona Vuletic, Ge Li, Elaine R. Peskind, Hal Kennedy, Santica M. Marcovina, James B. Leverenz, Eric C. Petrie, Virginia M-Y. Lee, Douglas Galasko, Gerard D. Schellenberg, John J. Albers. It is published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 15:3 (November 2008).

IOS Press

Related Brain Articles from Brightsurf:

Glioblastoma nanomedicine crosses into brain in mice, eradicates recurring brain cancer
A new synthetic protein nanoparticle capable of slipping past the nearly impermeable blood-brain barrier in mice could deliver cancer-killing drugs directly to malignant brain tumors, new research from the University of Michigan shows.

Children with asymptomatic brain bleeds as newborns show normal brain development at age 2
A study by UNC researchers finds that neurodevelopmental scores and gray matter volumes at age two years did not differ between children who had MRI-confirmed asymptomatic subdural hemorrhages when they were neonates, compared to children with no history of subdural hemorrhage.

New model of human brain 'conversations' could inform research on brain disease, cognition
A team of Indiana University neuroscientists has built a new model of human brain networks that sheds light on how the brain functions.

Human brain size gene triggers bigger brain in monkeys
Dresden and Japanese researchers show that a human-specific gene causes a larger neocortex in the common marmoset, a non-human primate.

Unique insight into development of the human brain: Model of the early embryonic brain
Stem cell researchers from the University of Copenhagen have designed a model of an early embryonic brain.

An optical brain-to-brain interface supports information exchange for locomotion control
Chinese researchers established an optical BtBI that supports rapid information transmission for precise locomotion control, thus providing a proof-of-principle demonstration of fast BtBI for real-time behavioral control.

Transplanting human nerve cells into a mouse brain reveals how they wire into brain circuits
A team of researchers led by Pierre Vanderhaeghen and Vincent Bonin (VIB-KU Leuven, Université libre de Bruxelles and NERF) showed how human nerve cells can develop at their own pace, and form highly precise connections with the surrounding mouse brain cells.

Brain scans reveal how the human brain compensates when one hemisphere is removed
Researchers studying six adults who had one of their brain hemispheres removed during childhood to reduce epileptic seizures found that the remaining half of the brain formed unusually strong connections between different functional brain networks, which potentially help the body to function as if the brain were intact.

Alcohol byproduct contributes to brain chemistry changes in specific brain regions
Study of mouse models provides clear implications for new targets to treat alcohol use disorder and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Scientists predict the areas of the brain to stimulate transitions between different brain states
Using a computer model of the brain, Gustavo Deco, director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, and Josephine Cruzat, a member of his team, together with a group of international collaborators, have developed an innovative method published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Sept.

Read More: Brain News and Brain Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.