Nitric Oxide Flips a Switch in Alzheimer’s Disease

Nitric Oxide Flips a Switch in Alzheimer’s Disease
Nitric OxideResearchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) are looking to flip the molecular switch for inflammatory diseases such as Alzheimer's to the "off" position. Masao Kaneki, MD, PhD, in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine at MGH, discovered that nitric oxide acts on the protein SIRT1, leading to inflammation and cell death in multiple cellular and animal models. "Since different pathological mechanisms have been identified for diseases like type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Parkinson's disease, it has been assumed that therapeutic strategies for those conditions should also differ," said Dr. Kaneki in a news release. "In contrast, our findings identified nitric oxide-mediated inactivation of SIRT1--believed to be a longevity gene--as a hub of the inflammatory spiral common to many aging-related diseases, clarifying a new preventive molecular target." Under normal conditions, nitric oxide is a molecule that is integral to processes such as vasodilation. During inflammation an enzyme called inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) produces an abundance of nitric oxide, allowing aberrant protein modification and transcription factor activation that eventually leads to cell death, disease, and signs of aging. Previous reports have shown a role for nitric oxide in Alzheimer's, di
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One comment

  1. Paul says:

    Can someone put this in layman’s language? Does this mean the supplements like “Super Beets” that produce lots of Nitric Oxide would be BAD if you already have dementia?

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