One of the current problems, but that has been developing for a long time, in the field of public health is a marked tendency to increase with the aging population. In America, the projections indicate that by 2025 the number of & # 39; people & # 39; over 65 will double, b & # 39; proportional increase in problems related to & # 39; that stage of life.
Our country is in & # 39; & # 39 harmony with; this trend. In the last National Census (2010), Argentina had six million adults over 60 years (14% of the population). This figure tqiegħdna figure within the group & # 39; countries with the highest percentage of elderly population in the region.
If we consider dementias b & # 39; in general, and disease & # 39; Alzheimer's b & # 39; in particular, are epidemic worldwide, maximum effort researchers today is to determine the factors that increase the risk of suffering and act on them. to be able to avoid.
The final diagnosis & # 39; Alzheimer confirmed during the examination post mortem, Though, in & # 39; in recent years, progress has been made in the treatment and early detection. Finding & # 39; changes in brain tissue associated with & # 39; the early stages of dementia was one of the recent advances & # 39; Pablo Scodeller and Aman Mann made in the laboratory & # 39; Erkki Ruoslahti at the University & # 39; California, San Diego, USA.
Scodeller, Mendoza studied and obtained a PhD in Argentina, tells us about finding & # 39; CTGF (the connective tissue growth factor), a protein that is deposited in the walls of blood vessels in brain in the early stages of & # 39; Alzheimer's.
"We discovered that CTGF protein starts to accumulate in the cerebral blood vessels even before the appearance & # 39; beta-amyloid plaques, typical of foot & # 39; Alzheimer's", explains Scodeller. good tip to describe this ball
L – article, published in Communication Nature also describes short-chain & # 39; amino acids or peptide, called "DAG", which has the property that binds to & # 39; CTGF. The DAG can & # 39; injected blood, which quickly look for his partner, CTGF.
This is very important to facilitate the diagnosis, since the DAG can & # 39; addressing small particles & # 39; iron oxide, a thousand times smaller than a cell, in the affected area. Accumulation & # 39; these particles generate contrast in magnetic resonance tomography, to help doctors and researchers find and define the extent of the damage. For Scodeller, DAG can & # 39; detects the disease & # 39; Alzheimer much before contrast agents currently approved for clinical use.
The peptide DAG can & # 39; partner carries not only for diagnosis, but also therapeutic drug.
"Now you & # 39; take CTGF and doing by design a compound that joins & # 39; important site & # 39; this protein and b & # 39; this way will remove functionality . Or you & # 39; to develop antibody timblokkah, "says Scodeller. "Another therapeutic option is to inhibit the synthesis of & # 39; CTGF both types & # 39; cells that produce it, the venous blood cells of the brain and astroċiti, type & # 39 ; brain cell, although the latter is more difficult to do at first, add
Another key point of discovery that CTGF is exposed in the blood vessels, ie, f & # 39; contact with blood, so any therapeutic or diagnostic compound that is injected with blood has access to it. "It is not to penetrate tissue or enter the cell, it is difficult to achieve, to reach its target," Skodeller continues.
Although the study was conducted in & # 39; mouse models with the disease, the researchers found associated with DAG & # 39; & # 39 in CTGF, samples & # 39; tissues from patients & # 39; Amheimer, which are relevant in terms of & # 39; transformation. "The presence of & # 39; CTGF at an early stage of the disease opens the door for the diagnosis and therapy," Skodeller says, because "CTGF seen in the blood vessels of & # 39; foot & # 39; Alzheimer many minds prior to metabolic disorders of the brain disease. "
The peptide was branded, Scodeller chose the University & # 39; Tartu, Estonia, to continue his research, but the team & # 39; San Diego continued working to bring product into the clinic based on the concept that aims at this goal (CTGF) or using peptides, small molecules or antibodies, or to improve the diagnosis or to obtain a therapeutic response.
For this they have established biotech company (AivoCode, https://aivocode.com), which has a patent license. AivoCode is focused on neuroscience and is a pioneer in developing & # 39; innovative technologies and broad platform to improve the diagnosis and treatment of & # 39; neurological diseases.
The findings & # 39; this study are encouraging. Foot & # 39; Alzheimer's is devastating for the patient and family, and m & # 39; should leave anyone indifferent.
Pathology b & # 39; enormous social impact
Located as the third disease in the social health costs after ischemic heart disease and cancer, the disease & # 39; Alzheimer's become increasingly common disease on a global scale. According to official data, 0.5% of the world population lives today by & # 39; dementia, a number that will increase with & # 39; exponential way. About 36 million people suffer from this disease today, a figure that will reach over 115 million by 2050.
In Argentina, the prevalence of dementia b & # 39; in general is estimated at 12.2% in & # 39; patients older than 65 years. According to these figures, we can deduce that there are more than 600 thousand people b & # 39; madness in the country, of which about 60% are type & # 39; Alzheimer (360,000 subjects). Adding relatives and people dedicated to patient care, the extent of impact on the population is worrying.
The disease also has a large weight in the economy. According to official forecasts, the cost is the world & # 39; billions and diseases will become & # 39; trillion dollars by the end of this year.
Abnormalities observed in the patient's brain
When observe under the microscope the brain tissue of & # 39; & # 39 patients with; Mażmerser, are appreciated both types & # 39; anomalies are considered as characteristic of the disease. They are the following:
They conglomerates & # 39; a protein called "beta amyloid" damaging and destroying the neurons in the brain. Although the final cause of neuron death is unknown, the accumulation & # 39; beta-amyloid on the outside of brain cells is the main suspect.
The neurons depend on internal system & # 39; transport and support that transports nutrients and other essential materials throughout their long extensions. This system requires the normal structure and functioning of & # 39; a protein called "Tau".
At the foot & # 39; Alzheimer's, the Tau protein threads are twisted to form true roots in & # 39; brain cells, and this is the reason why the transport system fails and is another factor contributing to the death of neurons.
The original text of & # 39; this article was published-26/26/2014 in our print edition.