It may be possible to restore memory functions in Alzheimer’s patients
New study offers hope for restoring memory function in Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers showed that by focusing on changes in gene activity, it was possible to restore memory function in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.
Research conducted by scientistsów from the University of Buffalo show that it may eventually be possible to reverse theóprice of memory loss, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease in its póź stages.
The findings were published in the journal „Brain”.
Gene expressionów, a process in whichórym from the gene is read and transcribed genetic information into products, such as proteins, changes throughout life. The science behind gene expressionów – changes in gene activityów, whichóre not due to changes in the DNA sequence – it’s epigenetics. Elements thatóre affect changes in the expression of genesów are known as epigenetic factors.
The researchers claim to have identified just such epigenetic factors, który cause memory loss in osób with Alzheimer’s disease. What’s more, they argue that they have successfully restored the restoration ofócial function in a mouse model of the disease.
– In our study, we not only identified epigenetic factors thatóre contribute to memory loss, but we have also found ways to temporarily reverse theóWe have found ways of temporarily reversing memory loss in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease – said Zhen Yan of the University of Buffalo, a majorówna author of the publication.
Alzheimer’s disease emerges zarówno of the factoróin genetic as well as environmental, although the exact processes które cause of the disease remain a mystery. In a recently published study, bacteria that cause gum disease are suspected of causing Alzheimer’s. The scientists behind the research say they have strong evidence for it. Read more in the text: the cause of Alzheimer’s disease has been discovered? Headów the prime suspect gum disease-causing bacteria. Despite the lack of clarity as to the causes of the disease, it is clear that the aging process leads to changes thatóre drive the development ofój disease.
Epigenetic changes in Alzheimer’s disease happen in the mainównie in its póthe later stages, when patients are unable to remember recently acquired information and show a dramatic decline in cognitive ability. A key reason for the decline in these abilities is the loss of receptoróin glutamate, whichóre are crucial for learning and for memory krótkot persistent.
– We have discovered that in Alzheimer’s disease, many subunits of the receptorów glutamate in the frontal cortex is dysregulated, whichóca signals that stimulate them, and this in turn impairs memory,” said Yan. Researcher móIn discussing the deregulation, she pointed out that the so-called “memory loss” is a “disease”. regulation in dó³, which is the process in którym comórka gets rid of its componentsów under the influence of external factorsów.
The researchers found that loss of receptoróin glutamate is the result of an epigenetic process known as inhibitory histone modificationóin whichóry is elevated in Alzheimer’s disease. This was observed by the zaróboth in animal models and in the postmortem tissue of the patient’sóin Alzheimer’s sufferers.
– This abnormal histone modificationów associated with Alzheimer’s is what suppresses the expression of geneóin reducing the amount of receptoróin glutamate, leading to loss of synaptic function and deficitsóin memory – emphasized Yan.
A thorough understanding of this process may allow for the development of effective therapies, as modification of histoneów is controlled by enzymes. – Our study not only revealed a correlation between epigenetic changes in Alzheimer’s disease, but we also found that we could correct cognitive dysfunction by targeting epigenetic enzymes to restore theóreceptor activationóin glutamate – pointed out Yan.
During experiments on mice, they were administered three times with compounds designed to inhibit the enzyme that controls histone modificationów. – When we gave the animals our enzyme inhibitorów, we observed recovery of cognitive function. This was confirmed in tests of spatial memory and working memory. We were very surprised to see such a big improvement. At the same time, we observed recovery of expression of the receptoróin glutamate and function in the frontal cortex,” said Yan.
The improvement in the condition in the test rodents lasted for a week. Future research will focus on developing a compoundów, whichóre will more effectively penetrate the mózg, and thus their actions will be more permanent.
In the disruption of móof the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease, involves many genów, and each of them has a small effect on the disease. The epigenetic approach is believed to be beneficial because epigenetic processes control not just one, but many genesów. – Epigenetic approach can improve the gene networków whoóre collectively przywrócomórk to their normal state and restore theóc complex function of mózgu – explained by Yan.
– We have provided evidenceów on that abnormal epigenetic regulation of glutamate receptor expression and function contributed to cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. If many deregulated genów will be normalized by targeting specific epigenetic enzymes, it will be possible to restore theócognitive functions,” concluded Yan.