Alzheimer's / Dementia News

Iron Intake In Teen Years Can Impact Brain In Later Life

Iron is a popular topic in health news. Doctors prescribe it for medical reasons, and it's available over the counter as a dietary supplement. And while it's known that too little iron can result in cognitive problems, it's also known that too much promotes neurodegenerative diseases.

Now, researchers at UCLA have found that in addition to causing cognitive problems, a lack of iron early in life can affect the brain's physical structure as well.

Circadian Rhythm Disruption Causes Neurodegeneration, Early Death

New research at Oregon State University provides evidence for the first time that disruption of circadian rhythms - the biological "clocks" found in many animals - can clearly cause accelerated neurodegeneration, loss of motor function and premature death.

The study was published in Neurobiology of Disease and done by researchers at OSU and Oregon Health and Science University. Prior to this, it wasn't clear which came first - whether the disruption of biological clock mechanisms was the cause or the result of neurodegeneration.

"In these experiments, we showed through both environmental and genetic approaches that disrupting the biological clock accelerated these health problems," said Kuntol Rakshit, an OSU graduate fellow.

Identification Of Protein Changes In Early-Onset Alzheimer's

With a lack of effective treatments for Alzheimer's, most of us would think long and hard about whether we wanted to know years in advance if we were genetically predisposed to develop the disease. For researchers, however, such knowledge is a window into Alzheimer's disease's evolution.

Understanding the biological changes that occur during the clinically "silent" stage - the years before symptoms appear - provides clues about the causes of the disease and may offer potential targets for drugs that will stop it from progressing.


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