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Hunting for the hidden footprint of Alzheimer's disease



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One of the current problems is a clear trend towards increasing the aging population in the area of ​​public health, which has only grown for a long time. In America, projections show that by 2025, the number of people over 65 will double, and that there is a proportional increase in the problems associated with this phase of life.

Our country is in harmony with this trend. In the last National Population Census (2010) there were six million adults over the age of 60 in Argentina (14% of the population). This figure is in the group of countries with the highest percentage of the elderly population in the region.

Generally, considering that dementia and Alzheimer's disease is a worldwide epidemic, the maximum effort of researchers today is to identify the factors that increase the risk of suffering from them. Able to avoid them.

The exact diagnosis of Alzheimer's was confirmed during the examination. post mortemIn recent years, however, progress has been made in treatment and early detection. Changes in brain tissue in the early stages of dementia were one of the recent advances made by Pablo Scodeller and Aman Mann in the Erkki Ruoslahti laboratory at the University of California, San Diego, USA.

Scodeller, a doctoral researcher and doctoral student in Argentina, describes the CTGF (connective tissue growth factor) finding accumulated in the blood vessels of the brain in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

Scodeller, "In Alzheimer's disease, we discovered that the CTGF protein begins to accumulate in cerebral blood vessels, typically even before the appearance of beta-amyloid plaques." A good tip to solve this ball

Posted in article Nature communication It also describes a short chain of amino acids or peptides called "DAGs" which have the ability to adhere to the CTGF. The DAG can be injected into the bloodstream, which the wife is looking for quickly at the CTGF.

This is very important for facilitating the diagnosis because the DWI can direct small iron oxide particles smaller than a thousand times a cell to the affected area. The accumulation of these particles contrasts with magnetic resonance tomography, which helps doctors and researchers determine the extent of damage. For scodeller, DAG can detect Alzheimer's disease much earlier than currently approved contrast agents for clinical use.

The DAG peptide can carry not only diagnosis, but also a therapeutic drug.

Abilir It can now take the CTGF & # 39; design and design a compound that binds to an important region of the protein and thereby remove functionality. Or you can develop an antibody to prevent it, "says Scodeller." Another therapeutic option is to inhibit the synthesis of CTGF in two cell types that produce this, to inhibit the cells of the brain cells of the brain and astrocytes, a kind of brain cells; he adds.

Another important point of discovery is the release of CTGF in blood-injected blood vessels, so that any therapeutic or diagnostic compound injected with the blood will have access to it. Esi It doesn't have to go into the cell that's hard to penetrate or reach the tissue, "Scodeller continues.

Although the study was performed in mouse models with the disease, the investigators were ligated to CTGF in tissue samples from Alzheimer's patients who were eligible for transplantation. "The presence of CTGF in the early stage of the disease opens the door to diagnosis and treatment," says Scodeller, "for CTGF, a disease that occurs in brain vessels of Alzheimer's disease long before brain metabolic disorders." "

The Peptide was patented, Scodeller chose Tartu from the University of Estonia to continue his research, but the San Diego team continued to work for a product clinic on this goal (CTGF), based on the concept of achieving this goal. using either peptides, small molecules or antibodies, or to improve the diagnosis or to obtain a therapeutic response.

They set up a biotech company (AivoCode, https://aivocode.com) with a patent license. AivoCode is focused on neuroscience and is a pioneer in the development of innovative technologies and in a wide platform to improve the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases.

The findings of this study are encouraging. Alzheimer's disease is devastating for the patient and family and should not leave anyone indifferent.

Risk factors Advanced age is one of them, which increases the prevalence in an aging society. (AP)

A pathology with tremendous social impact

Alzheimer's disease, the third disease in ischemic heart disease and post-cancer social health costs, has become an increasingly common disease on a global scale. According to official data, 0.5% of the world's population lives today with dementia, this number increases exponentially. Today, about 36 million people suffer from this disease, 2050'e will reach more than 115 million people.

The prevalence of dementia is estimated to be 12.2% among people over 65 years of age in Argentina. According to these figures, we can say that there are more than 600 thousand people with dementia, about 60% in the country (360 thousand people). If we add relatives and people who are dedicated to patient care, the size of the impact on the population is worrying.

The disease also has a great weight in the economy. According to official estimates, the world costs billions of dollars, and by the end of this year will be a trillion-dollar disease.

Abnormalities observed in the patient's brain

While observing under the microscope, brain tissue of a patient with Alzheimer's disease appreciates two types of anomalies that are considered characteristic of the disease. These include:

Amyloid plaques

They are conglomerates of a protein called "beta-amyloid" that destroy and destroy neurons in the brain. Although the cause of death of neurons is unknown, beta-amyloid deposition outside the brain cells is the main suspect.

knots

Neurons are based on an internal transport and support system that carries nutrients and other necessary materials along their long extensions. This system requires the construction and normal functioning of a protein called "Tau".

In Alzheimer's disease, the teeth of the Tau protein are bent towards creating true entanglements in brain cells, so the transport system fails and is another factor contributing to the death of neurons.

(*) special

(*) neurologist

Printing pressure

The original text of this article was published in our edition on 11/26/2018.

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