An Italian study found that Alzheimer's doesn't affect men and women equally. This information is important because it opens up to sex-based therapies. All the details
Alzheimer's produces different alterations between men and women. This was stated by an Italian study, published in the journal Cell Reports , paving the way for a different approach to therapies based on the patient's gender.
THE AUTHORS OF THE STUDY
The discovery is the result of research conducted by an Italian team composed of: Elisa Maffioli, researcher in Biochemistry at the University of Milan, Gabriella Tedeschi, professor of Biochemistry at the University of Milan, Loredano Pollegioni, head of The Protein Factory 2.0 laboratory of the University of Insubria, Paola Coccetti of the University of Milano-Bicocca and Nadia Canu, professor at the University of Rome Tor Vergata.
WHAT HAVE THEY DONE
To elucidate the changes associated with aging versus those associated with Alzheimer's disease, the researchers compared post-mortem hippocampal samples from brains of men and women with normal aging and patients with the disease.
HOW THEY HAVE ACTED
The researchers carried out a molecular study, called "omic", that is, based on transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic analysis, including chiral ones.
WHAT THEY DISCOVERED
The analyzes showed that a woman suffering from Alzheimer's has a different metabolic profile from a man with the same pathology because the disease activates or does not activate different pathophysiological mechanisms, depending on the sex.
In particular, a difference was noted both in the insulin response and in the metabolism of the amino acid serine.
THE D-SERINA NEUROMODULATOR
The latter, which generates an important neuromodulator, D-serine, is significantly modulated: in men, during normal aging, the D-Ser / total serine ratio represents a strategy to counteract age-related cognitive decline, while in men women, this value is only changed during the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
BECAUSE IT'S IMPORTANT
This discovery is of particular interest, as D-serine modulates neurotransmission and also because its level in the blood has recently been proposed as an early biomarker for this pathology .
"These results – explained Maffioli – show how Alzheimer's disease changes and, in some respects, reverses some aspects of the proteomic map and metabolomic profiles in the two sexes, thus highlighting how different pathophysiological mechanisms are active or not based on sex and opening to the possibility of intervening with innovative therapeutic approaches differentiated between men and women ".
THE NUMBERS OF THE ALZHEIMER
According to data from the Higher Institute of Health (ISS), in Europe it is estimated that Alzheimer's dementia accounts for 54% of all dementias with a prevalence in the over 65 population of 4.4%.
The prevalence of this pathology increases with age and is higher in women, who have values ranging from 0.7% for the 65-69 age group to 23.6% for those over 90, compared to men. whose values vary respectively from 0.6% to 17.6%.
BECAUSE WOMEN GET MORE SICK FROM ALZHEIMER THAN MEN
Although the reduction in the level of estrogen associated with menopause is a risk factor, a 2020 study by the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology of the National Research Council (Cnr-Ibbc), found that the same hormones, from the first phase development, could favor its onset.
In fact, estrogens tend to disadvantage the use of the hippocampus in women, the brain structure responsible for the formation of long-term memory and spatial orientation, and its lesser use could be at the basis of its greater vulnerability to the effects of aging, including volume reduction and plaque formation.
To help the hippocampus "stay in shape", the experts suggest, it is essential to carry out physical exercise and cognitive training programs, strategies to which women respond better than men.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/sanita/lalzheimer-in-uomini-e-donne-non-e-uguale-lo-studio-italiano/ on Wed, 21 Sep 2022 09:54:14 +0000.