Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

New Israeli Study Links Alzheimer’s to Brain Hyperactivity

Research offers the potential for restoring memory and protecting the brain of patients with this debilitating disease

By: Viva Sarah Press

Published: August 1st, 2014 in Health » Israel

An Israeli research team has announced new findings that link Alzheimer’s disease to brain hyperactivity and says its research helps explain why so many patients of this debilitating disease run a high risk of seizures.

While the amyloid-beta protein involved in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s seems the most likely cause for this neuronal hyperactivity, how and why the elevated activity takes place hasn’t been explained until now.

“These are truly exciting results,” said Dr. Inna Slutsky, who led the Tel Aviv University research team.

The study, recently published in Cell Reports, shows that the guilty party in enhancing neuronal activity in Alzheimer’s patients is a molecular mechanism involving the amyloid precursor protein (APP). APP is well-known for its role in producing amyloid-beta. But it also acts as a receptor for amyloid-beta.

Elevated activity in the hippocampus — the area of the brain that controls learning and memory — has been observed in patients with mild cognitive impairment and early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Hyperactive hippocampal neurons, which precede amyloid plaque formation, have also been observed in mouse models with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Now, the Israeli researchers found that the binding of amyloid-beta to pairs of APP molecules triggers a change and causes elevated brain hyperactivity.

“Our work suggests that APP molecules, like many other known cell surface receptors, may modulate the transfer of information between neurons,” said neuroscientist Slutsky, who last year reported that bursts of gentle electricity can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.

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Via ISRAEL21c

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