UCSD researchers spot gene marker for Alzheimer’s disease

ByLois C

May 6, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The analyze examined 15 decades of blood screening and observation of hundreds of persons in excess of age 65. It tracked the progress of Alzheimer’s in excess of time, in men and women who have been symptomatic and asymptomatic.

The researchers, led by UC San Diego bioengineer Sheng Zhong, explained their get the job done finds a crystal clear connection amongst an overactive gene and the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease.

Zhong mentioned obtaining a gene marker for Alzheimer’s usually means we can improved forecast the sickness and, quite possibly, locate a route to a remedy.

“To both ameliorate the progress of the ailment or even reverse the development of the disorder. People are the exams that we are now performing,” he reported.

The experts said they were being stunned by the findings of the review, mainly because the gene and serine, the nutrient it generates, play an important position in mind development.

“It’s like an overshoot of the very good guys,” Zhong included. “The good stuff seems to mark an regrettable condition final result.”

The overactive gene goes by the acronym PHGDH (phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase). So considerably, the research has verified a sturdy correlation in between Alzheimer’s and the gene. Investigate assistant and data analyst Riccardo Calandrelli explained they noticed an abundance of PHGDH in blood tests of men and women whose behavior scored higher on what is called the dementia ranking scale.

“We observed that, when this index was having worse — when the cognitive deficiency was increased — the PHDGH degree in these individuals was bigger. So we could url both the physiology and the habits,” Calandrelli mentioned.

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Courtesy of UC San Diego.

Darkish patches on the righthand impression show the overactivity of the gene PHDGH in the mind of a man or woman with Alzheimer’s in this undated image.

While scientists have established a correlation, they have not tested result in and result. But they think that is what’s happening.

“Our speculation,” Zhong reported, “is that a pronounced oversupply of serine makes neurons also lively, for far too prolonged a time, and consequently develop into toxic.”

That, in flip, can trigger the situations that lead to Alzheimer’s.

There is no treatment for this condition of the brain, and the UCSD researchers have not learned one. But Zhong explained there are ongoing experiments on mice and on human mind cells (grown in the lab) that could direct to a way to tone down the overactive gene and the overproduction of serine.

Some companies promote serine as a nutritional supplement to improve brain purpose. Primarily based on what he’s discovered about serine, Zhong suggests for individuals who may possibly go through Alzheimer’s, these nutritional supplements may well be just what they never need to have.

By Lois C