Targeting Inflammation Pathway Reduces Alzheimer's in Mice

Alissa Sauer
By Alissa SauerDecember 23, 2014

A new study from the University of Bonn concluded that blocking a receptor in the brain that contributes to inflammation may reduce beta-amyloid plaques and lessen behavioral issues in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Learn more about this study and what it means for Alzheimer’s treatment methods in the future.

Inflammation in the Brain and Alzheimer’s

Researchers can agree that people with Alzheimer’s have some type of inflammation in the brain which can lead to the disease and speed its progression. A new study recently looked at how Alzheimer’s can be stopped or slowed by blocking receptors related to the inflammation.

Researchers from the University of Bonn discovered that by reducing a certain protein in the brain they were able to reduce beta-amyloid plaque formation. The formation of beta-amyloid plaques is a hallmark characteristic of Alzheimer’s and commonly thought to be the cause of the disease. The study regulated certain chemokines in the brains of mice with Alzheimer’s and saw a reduction in beta-amyloid plaques. Chemokines are proteins in the brain that regulate inflammation and the immune response system. People who have Alzheimer’s have a high amount of the chemokine CXCL10, which may contribute to the disease. The activation of the CXCL10 receptor is called CXCR3. Researchers observed that mice engineered to not have CXCR3 experienced a reduction in the beta amyloid plaque formation thought to cause and advance Alzheimer’s.

In addition to a reduction in beta-amyloid, researchers also noted that behavioral issues were ameliorated in mice with Alzheimer’s but without CXCR3.

Moving Forward

The study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation highly suggests that more research should be done surrounding CXCR3 and that it could be used as therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s treatment methods.

What do you think about the connection between brain inflammation and Alzheimer’s? Do you think future studies will confirm that reducing inflammation slows the disease or lessens behavioral issues? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Alissa Sauer

Alissa Sauer

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