Our brain combines smell with the information about space and time to form episodic vivid memories, according to a recent research, published in the journal Nature Communications. These findings can help improve sniff tests for the Alzheimer’s disease.
In the course of the study, a team of researchers examined the role of the anterior olfactory nucleus (AON) in memory using a mouse model in a range of experiments. They discovered a previously unknown neural pathway between the hippocampus and the AON.
Study co-author Afif Aqrabawi says: “[The findings demonstrate] that we now understand which circuits in the brain govern the episodic memory for the smell. The circuit can now be used as a model to study fundamental aspects of human episodic memory and the other odor memory deficits seen in neurogenerative conditions.”
A new study from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom finds that brain cholesterol is associated with the developing of Alzheimer’s disease.
With the help of in vitro modeling in the laboratory, the scientists were able to see that cholesterol sped up the aggregation of amyloid beta molecules by 20. At the present moment, the build-up of amyloid beta proteins is believed to be crucial in developing the Alzheimer’s disease.
Lead researcher Michele Vendruscolo says: “The question for us now is not how to eliminate cholesterol from the brain, but about how to control cholesterol’s role in Alzheimer’s disease through the regulation of its interaction with amyloid beta.”
New research, executed by the scientists from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, found that people who experienced just one night of bad sleep also known as sleep deprivation showed an immediate increase in levels of beta-amyloid, a protein that can form “plaques” that play a key role in Alzheimer’s disease.
For the study, the researchers studied 20 healthy adults aged between 22 and 72. After just one night of sleep deprivation, the scientists noticed that beta-amyloid levels have increased in the right hippocampus and thalamus of the subjects’ brains.
Authors conclude in their study: “Our results highlight the relevance of good sleep hygiene for proper brain function and as a potential target for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.”
A group of researchers claims that they are close to developing a blood test that will be able to detect the Alzheimer’s disease long before the symptoms appear.
One of the main problems in treating the Alzheimer’s disease is that it is always diagnosed at a relatively late stage as the symptoms may develop over the many years.
In a recent study, published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, researchers wanted to understand whether measuring the relative levels of healthy and pathological amyloid-beta in the blood could identify Alzheimer’s disease at its early stages.
The initial phase of the study demonstrated promising results – in participants who showed subtle early symptoms of the Alzheimer’s disease, the test detected changes in levels of amyloid-beta that associated with abnormal deposits visualized using brain scans.
A new study from the United Kingdom shows a link between the loss of dopamine-firing cells in the brain and ability of the brain to form new memories. These findings may lead to a new method for diagnosing Alzheimer’s.
For the study, a team of researchers used a type of MRI scan which is called 3Tesla. It is twice stronger than standard MRI. They scanned the brains of 51 healthy adults, 30 patients with a mild cognitive impairment, and 29 with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
Having analyzed the results of the scanning, the researchers concluded that there was a link between the size of two key brain areas – the ventral tegmental and hippocampus – and the ability of the patients to learn new information.
Lead study author Annalena Venneri, of the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, explains: “The hippocampus is associated with forming new memories, therefore these findings are crucial to the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. The results point at a change which happens very early on, which might trigger Alzheimer’s disease.”