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Common nutrient supply to help tackle Alzheimer’s disease

Date: 30 September 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

In a new study, researchers have revealed that a lifelong dietary regimen of choline holds the potential to prevent Alzheimer's Disease (AD).

 

Background

Choline is a safe and easy-to-administer nutrient that is naturally present in some foods and can be used as a dietary supplement.

 

Details

  • Researchers  found transgenerational benefits of Alzheimer’s like symptoms in mice whose mothers were supplemented with choline.

  • The latest work expands this line of research by exploring the effects of choline administered in adulthood rather than in fetal mice.

  • Due to  the higher prevalence of AD in human females, the study sought to establish the findings in female mice.

  • Results showed that when these mice are given high choline in their diet throughout life, they exhibit improvements in spatial memory, compared with those receiving a normal choline regimen.

  • Choline acts to protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease in at least two ways:

First, choline blocks the production of amyloid-beta plaques. Amyloid-beta plaques are the hallmark pathology observed in Alzheimer's disease.

  • Secondly, choline supplementation reduces the activation of microglia. Over-activation of microglia causes brain inflammation and can eventually lead to neuronal death which leads to reduced neural function.

Alzheimer’s disease

  • A progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions

  • Brain cell connections and the cells themselves degenerate and die, eventually destroying memory and other important mental functions.

  • Memory loss and confusion are the main symptoms.

  • Women are at a particular increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. 

  • In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer's, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.

  • On average, a person with Alzheimer's lives four to eight years after diagnosis, but can live as long as 20 years, depending on other factors.

  • No cure exists, but medication and management strategies may temporarily improve symptoms.