Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageIs Alzheimer's disease linked to brain pH imbalance?

By Tim Sandle     Aug 4, 2018 in Science
A pH imbalance in brain cells may contribute to Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study. The research also identifies possible drug targets which could reverse the problem.
The research comes from Johns Hopkins Medicine, and based on studies of mouse brain cells (astrocytes), the research suggests that one possible cause of Alzheimer's disease could be due to the imbalance in acid-alkaline chemistry inside endosomes. Endosomes are the nutrient and chemical cargo shuttles in cells.
With the brain cells studied - astrocytes - these function in order to clear amyloid beta proteins from the spaces between neurons. There is considerable scientific evidence that where this clearing process goes wrong, the amyloid proteins congregate around neurons. This then leads to the formation of amyloid plaques and subsequent nerve cell degeneration. This process is generally regarded to be the basis of the memory-destroying Alzheimer's disease.
Drawing on a connection to pH, the researchers administered drugs named histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors to pH-imbalanced mice cells. pH a figure expressing the acidity or alkalinity of a solution on a logarithmic scale on which 7 is neutral. Measurements of pH are important in medicine, and other sciences.
The mice in the study had been genetically engineered with a common Alzheimer's gene variant. The stage of the study was designed to replicate the earliest pathological symptoms or markers of Alzheimer's disease. By administering the drug, the experiment successfully reversed the pH problem and this, in turn, improved the capacity for amyloid beta clearance.
The research did not necessarily mean that Alzheimer's disease was reversed and considerable more work will be required before any human trials take place. However, the research provides a basis for further study into the area of amyloid beta clearance.
The study is presented in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research paper is headed "Amyloid clearance defect in ApoE4 astrocytes is reversed by epigenetic correction of endosomal pH."
More about Alzheimer's disease, Alzheimer's, Brain, ph
More news from