Correcting altered fatty acid metabolism in the brain of mice with Alzheimer's can reverse the cognitive deficits associated with the disease, reports a paper online in Nature Neuroscience. This work highlights a possible target for therapeutic intervention in patients with the disease.
Using a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, Lennart Mucke and colleagues observed a specific increase in an omega-6 fatty acid, known as arachidonic acid, and also an increase in the product of its metabolism. Because Amyloid-beta peptide -- whose abnormal deposits are seen in Alzheimer's patients' brains -- affects the activation of an arachidonic acid-metabolizing enzyme, the researchers blocked the action of this enzyme. The mice then showed significant improvement in some learning and memory tasks.
Lennart Mucke (Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, San Francisco, CA, USA)
Rene Sanchez-Mejia (Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA) Co-author
Abstract available online.(C) Nature Neuroscience press release.
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