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Immune System May Provide Protection from Alzheimer’s

Immune System May Provide Protection from Alzheimer’sResearchers have discovered immune system activity is associated with preservation of memory and other cognitive functions.

In the new study, researchers in the U.S. and in Italy reviewed blood samples from nearly 700 persons. Using a common clinical measure called the Mini Mental State Examination to measure memory and other cognitive functions, they discovered a gene called CCR2 was the top biomarker associated with memory in people.

CCR2 is a well-recognized biomarker of immune system activity associated with removing beta-amyloid – the main Alzheimer’s-causing substance in the brain.

This finding is consistent with recent mice studies that suggested that the immune system is involved in removing beta-amyloid.

In these studies, researchers found that augmenting the CCR2-activated part of the immune system in the blood stream resulted in improved memory and functioning in mice susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease.

David Melzer, Ph.D., who led the work, commented: “This is a very exciting result. It may be that CCR2-associated immunity could be strengthened in humans to slow Alzheimer’s disease, but much more work will be needed to ensure that this approach is safe and effective.”

Co-author Lorna Harries, Ph.D., said: “Identification of a key player in the interface between immune function and cognitive ability may help us to gain a better understanding of the disease processes involved in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.”

Source: University of Exeter

Immune System May Provide Protection from Alzheimer’s

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Immune System May Provide Protection from Alzheimer’s. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2012/05/28/immune-system-may-provide-protection-from-alzheimer%e2%80%99s/39332.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.