Managing cholesterol might help reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Christopher Davidson
November 12, 2018

Now there are no known cures for the disease, and effectiveness of the best treatments for its symptoms appear to diminish as the disease progresses, making early detection the best option for future hopes of the over 44 million people affected by the disease worldwide. The computer programme was created to detect the early signs of neurodegenerative disease - Alzheimer's. Once it knew what it was looking for, it could detect all the early cases in the pilot study, the researchers explained.

The University of California physicians and engineers who published the Radiology journal of the North American Radiological Society trained a deep learning algorithm to analyze positron emission tomography (PET) scanning.

"These results imply that cardiovascular and Alzheimer's pathology co-occur because they are linked genetically".

Scientists primarily detected differences in the DNA of people with factors that contribute to heart disease or Alzheimer's disease.

They focused on specific risk factors for heart disease - such as a high body mass index, type 2 diabetes and elevated triglyceride and cholesterol levels (HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol) - to see if any of these well-recognized risk factors for heart disease also were genetically related to Alzheimer's risk. But in the new study, the researchers identified other DNA points that also appear to be involved both in cardiovascular disease risk and the risk for Alzheimer's.

Douglas Rain, the sinister voice of HAL in 2001
Douglas Rain, a member of the Stratford Festival's founding company, died early Sunday morning at the St. The theatre company said he is survived by his two sons, daughter, granddaughter and daughter-in-law.

"Our approach works by combining and leveraging these massive GWAS studies to make discoveries that would otherwise be invisible", Desikan said.

These included several points within the CELF1/MTCH2/SPI1 region on chromosome 11 that previously had been linked to the immune system. "Genes that contribute to other cardiovascular risk factors, like body mass index and type 2 diabetes, did not seem to contribute to genetic risk for Alzheimer's".

If the disease is diagnosed after all symptoms have manifested brain volume loss is so significant that it is too late to intervene, early detection provides an opportunity to potentially find better ways to slow down and/or halt disease processes. "But they also suggest that the link between Alzheimer's and other cardiovascular risk factors are not likely due to common genetics, though they could be linked by diet or other lifestyle factors". "So we really need to think about these risks more holistically".

Desikan's team then examined whether now healthy individuals with a family history of Alzheimer's disease were more likely to carry these newfound genetic variants, a relatively new method for studying early Alzheimer's risk factors called "Alzheimer's-by-proxy".

The University of Arizona is receiving a $3.7 million grant for research underway at the Arizona Alzheimer's Disease Center. Karch's team showed that the novel genes most closely tied to Alzheimer's/cardiovascular risk in the new study were differently expressed in the brains of Alzheimer's patients compared to control brains. Dr Jae Ho Sohn, one of the co-authors of the study said, "We were very pleased with the algorithm's performance".

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