MAR 29, 2020 8:35 AM PDT

Anti-Inflammatory Injection May Prevent Memory Loss from Alzheimer's

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Around 5.5 million people in the US suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease. Now, research has found that reducing the body’s inflammatory response may help prevent memory loss associated with both Down’s Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Inflammation is a normal part of the body’s immune response to neutralize pathogens and toxins. Once neutralized, the body releases other molecules known as Resolvin E1 (RvE1) to subside the body’s inflammatory response. However, when this fails, chronic inflammation happens- something that worsens conditions such as heart disease, asthma and Alzheimer’s Disease. 

As almost 80% of people with Down Syndrome develop Alzheimer’s by the age of 60 seemingly due to increasing levels of inflammation in the brain, researchers from the University of South Carolina decided to see whether artificial supplements of RvE1 could reduce chronic inflammation, and thus reduce memory loss in individuals with Down Syndrome. 

To do so, they inserted tiny pumps under the skin of mice with Down syndrome that steadily released a saline solution laced with RvE1 into their blood streams over a period of 4 weeks. To measure their results, they maintained a control group, also with Down syndrome, who were similarly implanted with a pump, but only received a saline solution. 

In the end, behavioral tests conducted on the mice found that those dosed with RvE1 experienced significantly less memory loss than those in the control group. Blood tests also revealed that the mice injected with RvE1 also had significantly lower levels of cytokines, molecules that typically signify inflammation. More than this, they found that inflammatory immune cells known as microglia were significantly less active in the mice’s hippocampi, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. 

Hoping that their findings may inform future therapeutics capable of staving off memory loss from both Alzheimer’s Disease and Down Syndrome, the researchers have nevertheless warned that their research has limitations. To begin, as it was carried out on mice and not humans, their findings may be irreflective of the human brain. Furthermore, the mice in the study did not have protein build-ups in their brains, a possible cause of chronic inflammation, although these are present in humans with Alzheimer’s.  

 

Sources: Medical News Today, Science Daily 

 

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
JUL 19, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Neurons and Blood Vessels 'Talk' About Cell Fate
JUL 19, 2020
Neurons and Blood Vessels 'Talk' About Cell Fate
Scientists have used a zebrafish model to show that the neurons of the peripheral nervous system communicate with blood ...
AUG 04, 2020
Neuroscience
Transcranial Stimulation Disrupts Fearful Memories
AUG 04, 2020
Transcranial Stimulation Disrupts Fearful Memories
Disrupting negative memory formation has been a challenge for years- involving treatments ranging from psychotherapy to ...
AUG 05, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Provides Short Term Relief for Depression
AUG 05, 2020
Cannabis Provides Short Term Relief for Depression
Researchers from Yale University have found that cannabis has short-term antidepressant effects in the vast majority of ...
AUG 11, 2020
Neuroscience
Gastrointestinal Issues Linked to Behavioral Problems in Children
AUG 11, 2020
Gastrointestinal Issues Linked to Behavioral Problems in Children
Researchers from the University of California, Davis, have found that common gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms like diarrhe ...
SEP 10, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Common Painkiller Increases Risk-Taking Behavior
SEP 10, 2020
Common Painkiller Increases Risk-Taking Behavior
Researchers from Ohio State University have found that the common painkiller, paracetamol ( also known as Tylenol and Pa ...
SEP 20, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can Cannabis be Used to Treat Autism?
SEP 20, 2020
Can Cannabis be Used to Treat Autism?
Currently, the consensus on whether cannabis may be used to treat autism is mixed. While some papers show signs of its p ...
Loading Comments...