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Researchers have reportedly found warning signs that could indicate impending dementia in the blood

In a new study published Monday in the scientific journal “EMBO Molecular MedicineScientists from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University Medical Center Göttingen said that certain levels of microRNA may be a precursor to the condition.

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microRNA Are molecules that control and affect the production of proteins and are a central process in metabolism.

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Combining the analysis of human data and mechanistic study In the model system, The study authors said They identified a circulating 3-microRNA signature that reflects key processes associated with the ability of a cell or system of cells to find error and generate compensatory feedback to restore baseline function.

The group analyzed both young and healthy humans with already diagnosed patients in addition to animal and cellular disease models to identify the signature – which also informs about the mechanism by which a pathological condition occurs in the brain. and wrote that targeting the 3-microRNA signature can enhance the disease phenotype in animal models using RNA therapy.

“When the symptoms of dementia become noticeable, the brain is already extensively damaged. Diagnosis is currently too late, with even effective treatment unlikely. If If dementia is detected early, the chances of positively affecting the course of the disease are increased,” said André Fischer, research group leader, spokesperson for the DZNE site in Göttingen and professor at UMG’s Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. , said in one Press release. “We need tests that ideally respond when dementia has not yet broken out and reliably assess the risk of later disease. So they provide early warning. We are confident that the results of our current study are as good as this.” Will pave the way for trials.”

In healthy individuals, microRNA levels correlated with mental fitness and individuals with low blood counts performed better on cognition tests.

In the mice, the researchers found that the animals began to exhibit cognitive decline even before the subjects, regardless of age or because they had developed symptoms similar to those with Alzheimer’s dementia.

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Patients with mild cognitive impairment had increased blood levels of the three microRNAs and 90% developed Alzheimer’s disease within two years.

Finally, the study found that – on mice and cell cultures – three microRNAs affect inflammatory processes and “neuroplasty” in the brain, including the ability of nerve cells to connect to each other.

“In our view, they are not only markers, but also have active effects on disease processes. This makes them potential targets for therapy,” Fischer said. “Indeed, we see in mice that when these microRNAs are blocked with drugs there is an improvement in learning ability. We observed age-related mental deficits in mice as well as those with brain damage that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease.” Also seen in rats.

While the study suggests that microRNA signatures can be used as a “point-of-care” screening approach to detect individuals at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease – as well as the need for RNA therapies to treat it The potential is highlighted – the technology is not yet suitable for practical use.

In further studies, Fischer said the group aims to clinically validate the biomarkers.

In the US, at least 65 years of age, there were an estimated 5 million adults with dementia in 2014 and there are estimated to be around 14 million by 2060.

NS World Health Organization (WHO) report There are currently more than 55 million people living with dementia worldwide and about 10 million new cases each year.

Age, family history, poor heart health, race and ethnicity, and traumatic brain injuries can all increase the risk of dementia. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).