Women’s Dementia Risk Appears to Be Reflected by Alterations in Brain Protein

Women’s Dementia Risk Appears to Be Reflected by Alterations in Brain Protein
Studies have shown that women suffer a higher risk of developing dementia than men. Now, a study reports that this gender difference seems to be mirrored by molecular changes in brain proteins, raising prospects of identifying better treatments for both men and women. "The number of dementia patients is projected to triple by 2050 and there is an urgent need to identify key mechanisms of how dementia develops," said Associate Prof. Sze Siu Kwan of the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the senior author of the study, in a press release. "Our findings and further study could have direct implications for our knowledge about the progression of dementia that could lead to the development of drugs for treatment of dementia." The research team used an unbiased approach called proteomics to study proteins in the brains of diseased individuals. The method allows for the analysis of thousands of proteins, with hypotheses on which proteins are likely to be involved in pathology and has successfully been applied to the study of several genes. Five men and five women who had suffered dementia, as well as 10 control individuals, were included in the study, published in the journal Molecular Brain. Focusing on the structure and function of proteins in the white matter and mitochondria of the temporal lobe, a structure crucial for visual memory processing and language understanding, the team was looking for so-called degenerative protein modifications. The white matter is composed of long nerve cell processes linking different
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