publish date 2021-09-15 19:47:05
A new study has concluded that cholesterol, which is made by the human brain, plays a major role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers at the American University of Virginia and their collaborators found that cholesterol produced by “astrocytes”, the most common nervous system cell, is necessary in order to control the production of beta-amyloid, a sticky protein that accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, according to the “neurosciencenews” website, which specializes in news Nervous system.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that causes the brain to shrink (atrophy) and die, and is the most common cause of dementia in humans.
One of the symptoms of the disease that usually affects the elderly is memory impairment, the person is no longer able to remember recent events, and with the exacerbation of the disease, the patient loses the ability to perform daily tasks, according to the Mayo Clinic website.
The protein accumulates in insoluble plaques, and many medical efforts have tried to target these plaques in the hope that removing them or preventing their accumulation could prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
The new study provides insight into how and why plaques form, explains why cholesterol-related genes are linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and gives clinicians important guidance as they seek to protect people from the disease.
Study co-author Heather Ferris said: “The study data is important because it focuses on the process of cholesterol production in astrocytes and its transport to neurons, as a way to reduce amyloid-beta protein and prevent plaque formation.”
Cholesterol is not always bad. It is true that it is linked to clogged arteries and heart disease, but in return it plays an important role in a healthy body, which naturally makes cholesterol so that it can produce hormones to perform other functions.
The new study adds another responsibility for cholesterol in the human body, which was not previously known.
The study also sheds light on the role of astrocytes in Alzheimer’s disease. These cells undergo drastic changes in the event of this disease, but they were not previously sure whether these cells suffer from the disease or contribute to it.
The study concluded that astrocytes aid in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, by making cholesterol and distributing it to brain cells, and cholesterol accumulation leads to an increase in the amyloid beta protein, and thus increases platelet aggregation.
Normally, the level of cholesterol is low in nerve cells, which reduces the accumulation of beta-amyloid, but in the case of Alzheimer’s disease, neurons lose their ability to regulate the production of the protein, which leads to an increase in platelets.
In their new study, the scientists succeeded in preventing the production of cholesterol in the bodies of mice, which practically led to a reduction in the production of the protein amyloid beta.
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