Researchers discover how TBI can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy
New research led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) provides the first direct evidence linking traumatic brain injury to Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — and offers the potential for early intervention to prevent the development of these debilitating neurodegenerative diseases.
TBI can result from repetitive contact sport injuries or from exposure to military blasts, and is one of the most significant risk factors for both Alzheimer’s disease and CTE.
In a study published today in the online edition of the journal Nature, the researchers found that a misshapen isoform of the tau protein can develop as soon as 12 hours after TBI, setting in motion a destructive course of events that can lead to widespread neurodegeneration. Importantly, the researchers have developed a potent antibody that can selectively detect and destroy this highly toxic protein.
“TBI is a leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults and also affects approximately 20 percent of the more than two million troops who have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan,” said co-senior author Kun Ping Lu, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Translational Therapeutics in the Department of Medicine at BIDMC and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). “Our study shows that an early neurodegenerative process induced by the toxic tau protein can begin just hours after a traumatic brain injury. In both cell models of stress and in mouse models simulating sport- and military-related TBI, the production of this pathogenic protein, called cis P-tau, disrupts normal neurological functioning, spreads to other neurons and leads to widespread neuronal death. We have developed a potent monoclonal antibody that can prevent the onset of widespread neurodegeneration by identifying and neutralizing this toxic protein and restoring neurons’ structural and functional abilities.”
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia in older individuals and currently affects more than 5 million Americans and 30 million people worldwide. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a degenerative brain disease associated with a number of neurological symptoms including risk-taking, aggression and depression. CTE can also lead to progressive dementia.
Previous research has shown that abnormal phosphorylation of the tau protein underlies Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. In recent years, the Lu laboratory discovered that tau exists in two isoforms, or shapes –¬ ¬¬one functioning and one disease-causing.
“Healthy tau protein is found in the brain and serves to assemble and support microtubules, the ‘scaffolding systems’ that give neurons their unique shape and are integral to memory and normal brain functioning,” explained Lu. But in Alzheimer’s, CTE and other neurodegenerative diseases, collectively called tauopathies, tau becomes tangled and unable to function properly.
“Recent studies of CTE in the brains of boxers, American football players and blast-exposed veterans have identified extensive neurofibrillary tau tangles,” he said. “But, because these tangles were not detected until months or, more likely, years after TBI, it has not been known whether tauopathy is a cause or a consequence of TBI-related neurodegenerative disease. We have now shown that it is a cause of these diseases.”
The Latest on: Neurodegeneration antibody
via Google News
The Latest on: Neurodegeneration antibody
- Phase 2 Trial of AADvac1 in Alzheimer’s Disease Publishedon June 16, 2021 at 12:56 pm
Results from a Phase 2 trial of AADvac1—a vaccine against pathological forms of tau—were published June 14 in Nature Aging. The treatment met its primary endpoint, appearing safe. It also rallied ...
- Galimedix Accelerating Development of Its Next-Generation Oral Anti-Amyloid Beta Drug GAL-201 for Alzheimer's Diseaseon June 15, 2021 at 7:29 am
Galimedix, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new small-molecule medicines for patients suffering ...
- Nature Aging publishes phase II results for AADvac1, a first-in-man Alzheimer's tau vaccine developed by Axon Neuroscienceon June 14, 2021 at 11:29 am
AADvac1 demonstrates robust antibody response, excellent safety profile and highly significant impact on neurodegeneration - Evidence of clear therapeutic effect on blood neurofilament light chain ...
- Nature Aging publishes phase II results for AADvac1, a first-in-man Alzheimer's tau vaccine developed by Axon Neuroscienceon June 14, 2021 at 11:23 am
AADvac1 demonstrates robust antibody response, excellent safety profile and highly significant impact on neurodegeneration - Evidence of clear ...
- Stopping Math Education Early Is Bad for the Brainon June 8, 2021 at 2:11 am
Adolescents who stopped studying maths exhibited greater disadvantage - compared with peers who continued studying maths - in terms of brain and cognitive development, according to a new study ...
via Bing News