Zombie cells influence the development of dementia
How do dead cells affect the development of dementia??
More and more people in the world are suffering from dementia. Researchers have now discovered that so-called dysfunctional zombie cells in the brain are associated with dementia. This finding may help to pave the way for a possible cure for the degenerative disease.
Researchers at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, have found that certain dysfunctional cells in the brain appear to be involved in the development of dementia. The physicians published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Nature".Physicians have come one step closer to curing dementia. They found that certain cells are involved in the development of the disease. (Image: highwaystarz / fotolia.com)
Impairment of glial cells leads to the death of neurons
It is known that dead cells, which have lost their ability to divide, accumulate in the body with increasing age and give off chemical signals there, which then influence the effect of other cells in the vicinity, explain the experts. However, recent research by the Mayo Clinic researchers surrounding study author Tyler Bussian has shown that building these cells in the brain does not affect the neurons but the surrounding glial cells. This makes it impossible for the neutrons to survive.
Research was done on mice
Genetically modified mice were used for the study. These were more susceptible to neural degeneration and offered the opportunity to test the targeted destruction of aging cells (zombie cells). The physicians have discovered that preventing the buildup of these cells reduces the formation of tau proteins. These proteins are closely related to the development of Alzheimer's disease.
Aging cells promote neurodegeneration
The inhibited degeneration of neurons in regions of the brain known for cognitive processes resulted in decreased memory loss in the animals. This suggests that aging cells can promote neurodegeneration, say the experts. The results could open new perspectives for the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease.
Add senescent cells to age-related diseases?
The idea that building senescent cells can contribute to age-related diseases such as dementia and cardiovascular disease is now gaining ground in the scientific community. However, since the study used modified mice, the results in humans may not be as easy to reproduce.
Dementia and Alzheimer's?
The study raises the possibility that preventing the accumulation of senescent cells could provide the basis for curing Alzheimer's in humans. Although the two terms Alzheimer's and dementia are often used interchangeably, Alzheimer's is just one of the possible forms of dementia. In Alzheimer's disease, neurons are initially lost in the brain, impairing memory and learning ability. The ability of patients to perform everyday tasks such as driving, cooking and shopping is increasingly lost. (As)