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New Research Study Associates Unsaturated fatty Acids to Alzheimer’s Disease

Apr 11, 2017

New Research Study Associates Unsaturated fatty Acids to Alzheimer’s Disease

A new study is found that the metabolism of omega-6 and omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids in the brain are linked with the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease. This study was published in a special issues on Dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to memory impairment, executive language and function. This disease is responsible for almost 60 to 80 percent of the total dementia cases across the world, with more than 46 million people suffering from the disorder across the globe. By the year 2050, the estimated number of patients is said to increase to 131.5 million.

Researchers said that presently it is believed that the prime cause for acquiring memory problems in dementia is the manifestation of two huge molecules in the brain known as amyloid and tau proteins.These proteins haven been thoroughly examined and have begun to gather in the brain up to 20 years before the actual onset of the disease. Nevertheless, at present there is very little data on whether how small molecule metabolism in the brain is linked with the advancement and development of Alzheimer’s disease.

In the study, researchers from the National Institute on Aging in the United States and from King’s College London examined tissue samples of the brain from nearly 43 individuals all of whom ranged from 57 to 95 years of age. The researchers compared the alterations in several hundreds of tiny molecules in three groups – 15 individuals who possessed extreme levels of amyloid and tau but did not show memory related issues, 14 people with healthy brains, and 14 patients who were clinically diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers while performing the study also paid exclusive attention to three different parts in the brain, one which shows more tau, one which generally shows less amyloid and tau, and last which shows more amyloid. The primary molecules which differed were six small fats that included omegas, which altered greatly in the several parts of the brain which were examined. As compared to the brains tissues from the healthy patients, the unsaturated fatty acids considerably reduced in tissues from the Alzheimer’s brains, according to the researchers.

Dr Cristina Legido Quigley from King's College London and the co-lead author of this study said, "While this was a small study, our results show a potentially crucial and unexpected role for fats in the onset of dementia. Most surprisingly we found that a supposedly beneficial omega3, DHA, actually increased with the progression of the disease.

"It is now important for us to build on and replicate these findings in a larger study and see whether it corroborates our initial findings."

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