For years, neuroscientists have known that the risk of Alzheimer’s disease is nearly doubled among people who have had a stroke. Now researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have found a process in the brain that may help explain the link between Alzheimer’s and stroke. Findings are published in the March 13, 2008 issue of Neuron.
After a stroke, it is known that there is an increase in the production of the toxic amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides that are believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, results showed that Aβ production rises when there is an increase in production of a peptide called p25, which is known to occur, both in rodent models and in human post-mortem tissue, following a stroke. Columbia researchers and their colleagues identified a pathway, known as p25/cdk5, whereby higher levels of p25 led to enhanced activity of a molecule called cdk5, which in turn led to a rise in the production of Aβ.
-Molecular Pathway Involved in Production of Protein Believed to Cause Alzheimer’s Identified