Alcohol Consumption Hinders Brain’s Ability to Clear Amyloid Beta, Early Study Reports

Alcohol Consumption Hinders Brain’s Ability to Clear Amyloid Beta, Early Study Reports
Drinking alcohol, especially in excess, may hinder the brain's natural ability to clear itself of amyloid beta protein plaques, the underlying cause of Alzheimer's disease, a study in rat cells implies. "Our results … suggest that alcohol consumption may represent a risk factor for development of amyloid burden," the researchers wrote. Their study, “Transcriptome analysis of alcohol-treated microglia reveals downregulation of beta amyloid phagocytosis,” was published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation. Previous research has suggested that alcohol consumption, specifically in its impact on the immune system and inflammation in the brain, could be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Researchers at the University of Illinois, Chicago, found that alcohol affects the ability of microglial cells —  immune cells of the central nervous system — to clear beta-amyloid from the brain. The team exposed rat microglial cells for 24 hours either to alcohol, to pro-inflammatory cytokines — chemicals involved in immune responses—  or to a mix of alcohol and cytokines. They then looked at changes in gene expression under each condition, along with the impact of alcohol exposure on the cells' capacity to clear amyloid beta. Exposure to alcohol alone changed the expression of 312 genes.  Exposing these microglial cells to inflammatory stimulus alone altered the expression of 3,082 genes, while both alcohol and pro-inflammatory cytokine exposure affected how
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *