A discovery concerning Alzheimer’s disease was made by a German research group. The researchers have in fact discovered that the TREM2 protein, produced by microglia in the brain, if it is present at higher concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid can be an element of contrast to the disease.
The same discovery, according to the press release, could be used to develop new therapies to combat this disease.
In the study, published in Science Translational Medicine , it is suggested that the TREM2 protein can act as a protective element for the degenerative effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers used data from 385 people with Alzheimer’s and non-Alzheimer’s in a large database and followed them for many years.
They noticed that high levels of TREM2 improved the prognosis of the subjects at each stage of the disease. In particular these high levels were related to a more stable memory and to a lesser hippocampal degradation.
“Our results are clinically relevant because we found that higher levels of TREM2 were also associated with a reduced rate of development of full-blown dementia over a period of up to 11 years,” explains Michael Ewers, one of the researchers who led the study with Christian Haass. “The activation of microglia is a double-edged sword, which involves both protective effects and neurotoxic inflammation. TREM2 signaling can play a key role in regulating the brain’s protective immune response. ”
Researchers are now trying to develop a therapeutic antibody that can be used to stimulate the TREM2 protein.
The research was carried out by scientists from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (ISD) at the University Hospital of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich.
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