Navigation Links
Gladstone scientists uncover potential mechanism of memory loss in Alzheimer's disease

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- September 6, 2007 -- Researchers at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease (GIND) and Baylor College of Medicine have discovered a mechanism by which the protein Amyloid-beta(AB) may impair neurological functions in Alzheimer's disease. AB, which is known to accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer patients, has long been a focus of research into the causes and treatment of the disease. In a study published in the journal Neuron, Gladstone scientists found that A-beta triggers abnormal overexcitation of the very brain networks that are responsible for learning and memory.

"Such abnormal network activity in Alzheimer's patients was thought to be a collateral or secondary event caused by the degeneration of nerve cells," said Jorge J Palop, PhD, Gladstone research scientist and lead author of the study. "But our study suggests that this activity may actually be a primary effect of A-beta and an early determinant of cognitive failure."

The Gladstone team used several genetically engineered mouse models of AD in which memory deficits are triggered by a human gene that causes high levels of A-beta. They discovered that high levels of A-beta induce an insidious type of seizure activity in learning and memory centers that is not accompanied by the usual twitching and jerking movements seen in many forms of epilepsy. In fact, it took sophisticated brain wave recordings in freely behaving mice by electroencephalography (EEG) and telemetry to detect the seizure activity.

"We were really surprised by these findings because A-beta had previously been suspected to primarily suppress neuronal activity," said Lennart Mucke, MD, GIND director and professor of neurology and neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and senior author of the study. "This abnormal brain activity could play an important role in the development of Alzheimer-related cognitive impairments."

Physicians have long recognized that Alzheimer patients have a higher incidence of convulsive seizures than reference populations. The new study indicates that A-beta is to blame for this problem and raises the disconcerting possibility that these patients may also have non-convulsive seizures that could easily escape detection by standard clinical exams. The investigators are eager to test this hypothesis in a planned follow-up study of human subjects.

"Our results have important therapeutic implications, because the prevention and reversal of non-convulsive seizure activity has not yet been a major focus of clinical trials in Alzheimer's disease. Our results suggest that the suppression of this activity might prevent and possibly even reverse cognitive impairments induced by high levels of A-beta," said Dr. Mucke.


Contact: Valerie Tucker
Gladstone Institutes

Related biology technology :

1. UW computer scientists fighting computer virus "Cold War"
2. Scientists find way to make human collagen in lab
3. Wisconsin scientists to be recognized for innovative biofuel technology
4. UW-Madison scientists to mimic nature for newest cancer drugs
5. UW scientists study strange material with communications potential
6. Scientists find nanotech method for examining cells
7. UW space scientists use Keck telescope to study wild weather of Uranus
8. UW computer scientists tout achievements and explain industry shortcomings
9. Facing shortage of U.S. scientists, UW wants to boost math enrollment
10. UW-Madison scientists find a key to cell division
11. TIP/UW Scientists Provide Mars Rover Commentary
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased ... and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... OTTAWA, ON (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... former DNA Technical Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA ... joining the STACS DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Andrew D ... Published recently in ... from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses ... care is placing an increasing burden on healthcare ... therapies. With the patents on many biologics expiring, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a division of ... and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International Manufacturing Technology ... among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics and distribution, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/20/2016)... 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass ... and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice ... security and usability. ... new partnership. "This marketing and technology ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Infosys ... (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a global ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, fast ...      (Logo: ) , ... but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling and ...
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):