November 20, 2006
Alzheimer's Disease Might Be Triggered By Low Brain Oxygen

A team at University of British Columbia in Canada including Weihong Song has found that oxygen deprivation activated the gene BACE1 which causes beta anyloid production and therefore likely more plaque formation.

Song’s team found that oxygen deprivation triggers a greater activation of the BACE1 gene. More beta-amyloid means more plaques and, in turn, more neuron death. So getting enough oxygen to the brain may help stave off Alzheimer’s in people with known risk factors, says Song.

A diet that reduces your risk of heart disease will probably reduce your risk of Alzheimer's.

BACE1 converts amyloid into beta amyloid.

The link between low oxygen and plaque formation may be a gene called BACE 1, he added. This gene encodes a protein that converts the precursor amyloid molecule to the more dangerous beta-amyloid form. In their studies with mice, Song's group found that lower oxygen levels increased the activity of the gene.

Lower oxygen might also lead to Alzheimers by reducing the amount of energy available to dispose of plaque. Lower oxygen reduces the ability of cells to break down sugar for energy. The energy gets used to run many cellular processes including junk disposal. So oxygen deprivation could also work to cause brain diseases by reducing the ability of cells to take out the trash.

Eat a diet that is good for your heart and circulatory system. You'll also reduce your risk of stroke, dementia, Alzheimer's, and other degenerative diseases as well.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2006 November 20 10:24 PM  Brain Alzheimers Disease

Mike Epstein said at November 23, 2006 11:26 AM:

Does this mean we should expect a positive correlation between Alzheimer's and sleep apnea? Does anyone have data on this?

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