New research expands potential Alzheimer’s drugs


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Alzheimer’s disease is associated with a decrease in insulin receptors in brain microvessels, which may contribute to insulin resistance in the brain and the formation of amyloid plaques, one of the hallmarks of the disease. That’s according to a study published today in the journal Brain by a team from Laval University and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

The work that led to this finding was led by Frédéric Calon, a professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy and a researcher at the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods and the CHU de Québec – Université Laval Research Center.

The discovery could influence the search for new Alzheimer’s drugs. “Some clinical trials “Our study shows that the drug does not need to cross the blood-brain barrier of the microvasculature to affect the brain’s insulin resistance,” said Professor Calon. Instead, they can target insulin receptors located in brain microvessels. That widens the range of drugs that can be tested for Alzheimer’s disease. “

The study was carried out by a longitudinal study began in 1993 and is attended by approximately 1,100 members of about 30 religious orders in the United States. Participants agreed to undergo annual medical and psychological test and donate their brains after death. The Brain The article is based on data from 60 deceased individuals who participated in extensive research.

Examination of their brains showed that:

  • Insulin receptors are found mainly in blood vessels, not neurons, as was previously thought.
  • Insulin receptor alpha-B subunits are less common in the microvasculature of individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Cognitive test scores were lower in subjects with fewer alpha-B insulin receptors in their microvasculature.
  • Subjects with fewer alpha-B insulin receptors in their microvasculature had more beta-amyloid plaques in their brains.

Experiments performed by researchers on transgenic mice used to study Alzheimer’s disease showed that the number of alpha-B receptors in microvessels decreases with age and disease progression.

“Our findings suggest that the loss of alpha-B insulin receptors in brain microvessels contributes to insulin resistance in the brain and cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Professor Calon.

These findings support the idea that Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease with a strong metabolic component. “Metabolic dysfunction exacerbates Alzheimer’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease amplifies the metabolic problem,” said Professor Calon. It’s a vicious circle.

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Journal information:

Quote: New study expanding the range of potential Alzheimer’s drugs (2022, October 24) retrieved October 24, 2022 from potential-alzheimer-drugs.html

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