A recent study proposes a model, mapping whole-brain gene activities and their changes during healthy aging and in case of Alzheimer’s disease. To develop the model, researchers used a wide range of information, starting from gene activity on the micro level and ending by chances in brain characteristics on the macro level, such as formation of toxic proteins (tau and amyloid), brain neuronal function, blood flow, glucose metabolism and tissue structure.
The study discovered that Alzheimer’s disease and healthy aging share complex biological processes, even though Alzheimer’s disease is a separate disease with considerably more changes on genetic, molecular, physical and structural levels. The researchers found 8 genes which contributed to the cognitive changes in healthy participants. The same genes seem also to affect 2 important proteins in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, namely tau and amyloid beta.
The study also identified 111 genes that belong to 65 different biological processes and are related to neurodegeneration and cognitive changes in Alzheimer’s disease.
The ability of the proposed model to predict the extent of cognitive decline was highest for Alzheimer’s disease, followed by the less pronounced cognitive decline and finally the healthy aging.
The proposed model is really impressive. Curious? HERE is the source