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Excess Fatty Acid in Alzheimer's Disease

  October, 30 2008 3:28
your information resource in human molecular genetics

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.

Author contact:

Lennart Mucke (Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, San Francisco, CA, USA)
E-mail: lmucke@gladstone.ucsf.edu

Rene Sanchez-Mejia (Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA) Co-author
E-mail: rene_sanchez@post.harvard.edu

Abstract available online.

(C) Nature Neuroscience press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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