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

December 2, 2008

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."

The article is "Apolipoprotein E Highly Correlates with AâPP- 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).

Source: IOS Press

Explore further: Glitter from silver lights up Alzheimer's dark secrets

Related Stories

Glitter from silver lights up Alzheimer's dark secrets

August 25, 2015

Scientists have caught a glimpse of the elusive toxic form of the Alzheimer's molecule, during its attempt to bore into the outer covering of a cell decoy, using a new method involving laser light and fat-coated silver nano-particles.

How human cells can dissolve damaging protein aggregates

August 12, 2015

Cellular repair systems can dissolve aggregated proteins and now Heidelberg researchers have successfully decoded the fundamental mechanism that is key to dissolving these protein aggregates in human cells. Their in-vitro ...

Getting to the bottom of ageing

July 31, 2015

The question of why we age is one of the most fascinating questions for humankind, but nothing close to a satisfactory answer has been found to date. Scientists at the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie in Berlin ...

Altering RNA helicases in roundworms doubles their lifespan

July 21, 2015

The things we do to extend our lives—quitting smoking, cutting back on carbs, taking up jogging —all have some impact on our longevity, if only just a little. But no matter how hard we work towards chasing the dream ...

Researchers discover new mechanism of DNA repair

July 3, 2015

The DNA molecule is chemically unstable giving rise to DNA lesions of different nature. That is why DNA damage detection, signaling and repair, collectively known as the DNA damage response, are needed.

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.