Vita Gazette

News from Italy

Alzheimer’s, a gene that protects against the disease, was discovered

Vita gazette – The gene, a kind of protective “shield” for the brain, was identified by experts at Columbia University, who analysed the genetic heritage of around 11,000 people. According to the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, more than one million people in Italy would have to deal with a more or less severe form of cognitive impairment. And there would be around 600,000 patients with actual Alzheimer’s disease.

Sometimes, there is news that offers a lot of hope. Thus, it is necessary to pay great attention to the study that appeared in Acta Neuropathologica, which describes the identification of a gene capable of reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 70%.

What the protective gene is, and how it works

The gene that can be considered a kind of protective “shield” for the brain was identified by experts at Columbia University, analysing the genetic heritage of approximately 11,000 people. But it’s not enough. In addition to determining the slight stretch of DNA, the scholars also tried to evaluate how this could become a target for new therapies, capable of having an action similar to that of the gene itself and, therefore, of keeping the brain “clean” from beta-amyloid, a substance that accumulates, just like waste, progressively enveloping the neurons. Furthermore, fibronectin generally tends to increase significantly in subjects with Alzheimer’s disease. The genetic variant that acts as a “shield” could prevent this accumulation. At the moment, the studies have only been conducted on laboratory models. And the theory holds up, giving rise to hope for a cure that certainly does not appear around the corner.

The genetic variant with protective activity produces a particular component that comes into play in forming the blood-brain barrier. Like an actual border crossing, this sort of “checkpoint” prevents potentially harmful substances, viruses or bacteria from passing from the blood to the brain. Therefore, the genetic variant that codes for fibronectin (the name of the substance found in this form of biological “frontier”) would help achieve optimal cleansing of the nervous system, thus promoting the improvement of the environment. in which it operates.

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