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A Risk and Cure for Alzheimer’s Patients


Researcher from Washington University  published  a report in journal science. They found that sleep deprivation may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

What does study found?
Sleepless accelerates the spread of toxic clumps of tau through the brain. Tau is a harbinger of brain damage and a decisive step along the path to dementia.

Lack of sleep alone helps drive the disease and good sleep habits may help preserve brain health.

Tau is found in the brain even among the healthy people, but under certain conditions, it will clump together  into tangles that injure nearby tissue and may lead to cognitice decline.

A sleepless night can result in increasing of the tau levels to rise by about 50%

What is tau?
Tau is a protein routinely released during waking hours by the normal business of thinking and doing and the release is decreased during sleep allowing tau to be cleared away. Sleep deprivation interrupts the normal cycle as a result, tau protein will build up and it is more likely that the Tau protein will start accumulating into harmful tangles.

What is Alzheimer’s disease? 
Alzheimer’s is a disease that robs people of their memory. At first, people have a hard time remembering things and recent events, though they might easily recall things that happened years ago. 

As the time goes on, other symptoms can appear, including: 

·         Trouble focusing.  
·         A hard time doing ordinary activities. 
·         Feeling confused or frustrated, especially at night. 
·         Dramatic mood swings like- outbursts of anger, anxiety, and depression. 
·         Feeling disoriented and getting lost easily. 
·         Physical problems, such as an odd walk or poor coordination. 
·         Trouble communicating. 

People with Alzheimer’s might forget their loved ones, they might forget how to dress themselves, feed themselves, and use the toilet. 🙁  

The disease makes brain tissue break down over time. It usually happens to people over age 65.  
A person can live with Alzheimer’s disease for just years or for few decades. More often, however, people live with it for about 9 years. About 1 in 6 people age 65 and over have the disease. Women are more likely to have it than men. 

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease 
People who get Alzheimer’s disease are usually older, but the disease isn’t a normal part of aging. Scientists aren’t sure why some people get it and others don’t. However they do know that the symptoms it causes seem to come from two main type of nerve damage. 

·         Nerve cells get tangles, called neurofibrillary tangles. 
·         Protein deposits called beta-amyloid plaques build up in the brain. 

There is some evidence found that people with high blood pressure and high cholesterol have a great chance of getting Alzheimer’s. More rarely, head injury may be a reason too—the more sever they are, the greater the risk of Alzheimer’s later in life. 

What will the small molecule do which is found in new research? 
A small molecule attached to carbon Nanosphere: A nanosphere is the silicon vapor condenses to from silicon nanospheres, which collect together in long strings, the carbon nanospheres, about 400 nanometers in size, are synthesized using glucose, and the small molecule, and is attached to the surface of the nanosphere. it could cross the blood brain barrier. 

This small molecule was found to activate the two enzymes, (CBP/300 Histone acetyltransferases). And these two enzymes by virtue of being the master regulators will activate several genes that are important for memory. 

What is blood brain barrier? 

Since the small molecule cannot cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain, the researcher turned to carbon nanospheres synthesized by a team led by professor Muthusamy Eswaramoorthy, chemistry and physics of material unit at JNCASR and co-author of the latest paper published in the journal EMBO molecular medicine   

Memory in Mice 

If it is able to induce memory in normal mice, so if it can induce and recover lost memory in mice with Alzheimer’s, researchers found the molecule activating the two enzymes in the diseased mice and producing new neurons.

Also, 81 genes whose expression was repressed in mice with Alzheimer’s were activate to normal levels. Besides completely recovering lost memory, other symptoms of Alzheimer’s such as balance problem was also addressed. 

The amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles contribute to the degradation of the neurons leading to memory loss in Alzheimer’s. The plaques and tangles absorb these two enzymes. So once enzymes as activated by the small molecule, the whole process of neurodegeneration gets reversed. 

Previous Research to recover long-term memory in mice with Alzheimer’s Disease
Researchers from India and France have been able to completely recover long-term memory in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. By using a small molecule that activates two enzymes (CBP/300 Histone acetyltransferases),  

Neuron-to-neuron connections that form the network were re-established leading to memory recovery in the diseased mice. 

The therapeutic molecule used in the study was synthesized by a team led by Tapas Kundu from the molecular biology and genetical unit at Jawaharlal Nehru for advanced scientific research (JNCASR), Bengaluru.