AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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Alzheimer’s Disease Thought to be Accelerated by Abnormal Fat Build-Up

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Researchers affiliated with the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) have discovered accumulations of fat droplets in the brains of patients who have died from Alzheimer’s disease, and were able to identify the nature of the fat. The research, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, opens up a new avenue in the search for a medication to cure or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. “We found fatty acid deposits in the brain of patients who died from the disease and in mice that were genetically modified to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Our experiments suggest that these abnormal fat deposits could be a trigger for the disease,” said the study’s lead author. The researchers discovered that these fatty acids are produced by the brain and build up slowly with normal aging, but that the process is accelerated significantly in the presence of genes that predispose to Alzheimer’s disease. This discovery lends support to the argument that Alzheimer’s disease is a metabolic brain disease, rather like obesity or diabetes are peripheral metabolic diseases. To read more about this study, click here.

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