Immune System Can Help Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

Giving carers hope
Submitted by Satish Karat on Sat, 03/19/2011 – 11:07


Although the United States government claims there isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, researchers at UCLA have found a biological marker that may help predict an individual’s risk in developing the disease. This biomarker, according to Dr. Milan Fiala, is the immune gene MGAT3. This gene controls the body’s production of clear amyloid beta, a protein that is the precursor to the plaques that cause Alzheimer’s disease.
In the study, researchers isolated immune cells in order to clear the amyloid beta from the blood of 20 individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and 20 people without it. After that, they tested how will their samples were able to handle amyloid beta. They found that the samples of the people with Alzheimer’s produced varying levels of MGAT3, which had a different response to the amyloid beta. From their results, they were able to identify three different types of Alzheimer’s patients based on the amount of MGAT3 expressed and the absorption of amyloid beta.

“This is one of the first studies demonstrating the role of the immune system in helping track Alzheiver’s disease prognosis and the impact of therapies”, said Dr. Fiala of UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. “These differences could point to a new way to track the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and the effectiveness of these natural therapies based on an individual patient’s immunity”.

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