Participants’ blood samples were drawn years before their dementia diagnosis.
Sudha Seshadri, M.D., founding director of the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases at UT Health San Antonio, is co-leader and senior author on research announced March 6 that identifies novel biomarkers of risk for future dementia.
Dementia is a rising tidal wave of devastation for families and society. Age is the biggest risk factor. Alzheimer’s disease, which is the leading cause of dementia, is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and more than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s. That figure is expected to triple by 2050.
The discovery is described in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. The study analyzed small molecules called metabolites in blood samples drawn from 22,623 individuals, including 995 who went on to develop dementia. The p
articipants were enrolled in eight research cohorts in five countries.
Associations with lower, higher risk
Researchers found that higher blood concentrations of molecules called branched-chain amino acids were associated with lower risk of future dementia. Another molecule, creatinine, and two very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-specific lipoprotein lipid subclasses also were associated with lower risk of dementia.
One high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and one VLDL lipoprotein subclass were associated with increased dementia risk.
These findings will broaden the search for drug targets in dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease, vascular disease and other subtypes, said Dr. Seshadri, professor of neurology at UT Health San Antonio. Formerly of Boston University, Dr. Seshadri is a senior investigator in the long-running Framingham Heart Study and leads the neurology working group within several international consortia.
“It is now recognized that we need to look beyond the traditionally studied amyloid and tau pathways and understand the entire spectrum of pathology involved in persons who present with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” Dr. Seshadri said. “It is exciting to find new biomarkers that can help us identify persons who are at the highest risk of dementia.”
In the future, the Glenn Biggs Institute may investigate the feasibility of developing a diagnostic exam, such as a blood test, to assess each patient’s molecular signature of dementia risk. The signature could include blood concentration of branched-chain amino acids. The altered metabolite signatures were observed years before the diagnosis of dementia when those study participants were healthy, Dr. Seshadri said. If a test were to become available, therapy could be initiated earlier.
The study was in persons of European ancestry and was carried out in collaboration with researchers in Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Estonia. Dr. Seshadri is eager to replicate it in South Texas. “The Glenn Biggs Institute at UT Health San Antonio will expand these studies to include the diverse racial and ethnic groups who live in South Texas,” she said.
Branched-chain amino acids are nutrients that the body obtains from proteins in foods such as meat and legumes. These amino acids include leucine, isoleucine and valine. “Valine has previously been shown to be involved in determining the risk of diabetes, which is a particularly big problem in our region, especially among the region’s large Hispanic population,” Dr. Seshadri said. “Now it is shown to be associated with the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia. We want to investigate for any connections.”
Metabolites are influenced by genetic and environmental factors, and their levels can be modified through dietary and pharmacological interventions. “I hope that people reading about this study will understand that they can take ownership of their health,” Dr. Seshadri said. “The lifestyle decisions they make, such as adopting a Mediterranean or other healthful diet, can affect these metabolites in ways we do not fully understand.”
Further studies can clarify whether the branched-chain amino acids and other molecules play a causal role in the dementia disease process or are merely early markers of the disease, Dr. Seshadri said.
The Latest on: Dementia risk
via Google News
The Latest on: Dementia risk
- UBC study links living near highways to risk of neurological disorderson January 23, 2020 at 12:22 pm
Researchers at the University of B.C. have found a link between living near highways and an increased risk of several major neurological disorders, including dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
- Living near major roads linked to risk of dementia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and MSon January 23, 2020 at 11:36 am
They found that living less than 50 metres from a major road or less than 150 metres from a highway is associated with a higher risk of developing dementia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and MS--likely due ...
- Depression May Elevate Dementia Riskon January 23, 2020 at 8:18 am
A Swedish study found that men and women with depression were much more likely to develop dementia than their peers without depression. People with depression are at increased risk for dementia, ...
- Can Concussions Increase the Risk of Dementia?on January 23, 2020 at 3:29 am
However, certain types of head injuries can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia developing later in life. Factors that appear to influence this risk include age at the time of ...
- Drinking Coffee Might Lower Alzheimer’s Disease Riskon January 23, 2020 at 12:05 am
It's estimated anywhere from 50 percent to 70 percent of people with dementia suffer from AD. There are also many other studies dealing with the positive effects coffee has against cognitive decline.
- Self-Perceived Risk of Dementia Associated With Mental Health, Race/Ethnicityon January 21, 2020 at 5:15 am
Participation in memory-preserving activities was also assessed. Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify correlations between self-perceived dementia risk and respondent ...
- Dementia Care: One Activity Can Help Reduce Your Riskon January 21, 2020 at 2:47 am
Dementia is one condition that could cause patients to suffer from memory-related issues. There is actually one exercise that you can do to help you reduce your risk.
- Dementia Breakthrough: Combining This With Physical Exercises Can Lower Your Risk Of Cognitive Declineon January 20, 2020 at 4:17 am
>50 million older adults suffer from dementia It is one of the leading cause of dependency and disability An Interactive gaming experience can reduce dementia risk With more than 50 million sufferers ...
- Dementia care: The simple activity you can do to reduce your risk of the brain conditionon January 20, 2020 at 3:18 am
Other ways to reduce your risk of dementia While getting older is undeniably the biggest risk factor for dementia, research suggests up to one in three cases of dementia are preventable. According to ...
- Dementia care: This ‘alternative’ exercise may reduce your risk of developing conditionon January 19, 2020 at 4:48 am
While the brain condition cannot be prevented, evidence suggests that engaging in mentally stimulating activities can slow down or in some cases even improve cognitive decline, reducing your risk of ...
via Bing News