Stopping Alzheimer's before the First Symptoms

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#1 23 October, 2016 - 18:31
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Stopping Alzheimer's before the First Symptoms

A New Tack to Stave Off Alzheimer's Years before the First Symptom

"Researchers try to prevent onset of the disease by correcting a brain cell process that goes awry"

Scientific American: Can you explain in a simple manner for our readers what calcium signaling is in the brain and what can go wrong in Alzheimer's?
While many people are aware of calcium as a component of strong bones, calcium is also a very important feature of cellular function. Calcium ions within brain cells play fundamental roles in activating genes to make proteins in energy metabolism, in signaling inside cells and even in cell death. Perhaps most relevant to Alzheimer’s disease though is its central role in neuronal transmission and communication between synapses (junctions between neurons). These are the cellular mechanisms by which memories are formed and maintained. In Alzheimer’s disease, too much calcium is being released within the neuron, and this initiates or accelerates many of the pathological processes seen in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), especially the events that lead to memory loss.

Is stopping the process of aberrant calcium signaling a good place to intervene? Is that because of the particular stage at which calcium becomes a problem in the course of the disease?
The dysregulated calcium signaling is thought to occur early in the disease process, which suggests it is part of the “cause” rather than a later-stage “effect.” Mechanistically, this supports targeting calcium abnormalities as a good therapeutic strategy. Importantly, we feel that our laboratory has identified the particular channel underlying the excess calcium release (the ryanodine receptor), which provides a specific target when trying to prevent the calcium dysregulation.

Full story:
A New Tack to Stave Off Alzheimer's Years before the First Symptom

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