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Author: Anne Eckert (91)


May
2017

The mitochondrial cascade hypothesis of dementia assumes mitochondrial dysfunction as an important common pathomechanism for the whole spectrum of age-associated memory disorders from cognitive symptoms in the elderly over mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's dementia. Thus, a drug such as the Ginkgo special extract EGb 761which improves mitochondrial function should be able to ameliorate cognitive deficits over the whole aging spectrum.
We review the most relevant publications about effects of EGb 761on cognition and synaptic deficits in preclinical studies as well as on cognitive deficits in man from aging to dementia.

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Nov
2017

Aging is defined as a progressive time-related accumulation of changes responsible for or at least involved in the increased susceptibility to disease and death. The brain seems to be particularly sensitive to the aging process since the appearance of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, is exponential with the increasing age. Mitochondria were placed at the center of the 'free-radical theory of aging', because these paramount organelles are not only the main producers of energy in the cells, but also to main source of reactive oxygen species.

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Dec
1969

Ageing is an inevitable biological process that results in a progressive structural and functional decline, as well as biochemical alterations that altogether lead to reduced ability to adapt to environmental changes. As clock oscillations and clock-controlled rhythms are not resilient to the aging process, aging of the circadian system may also increase susceptibility to age-related pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Besides the amyloid-beta protein (Aβ)-induced metabolic decline and neuronal toxicity in AD, numerous studies have demonstrated that the disruption of sleep and circadian rhythms is one of the common and earliest signs of the disease.

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Dec
1969

Recent data indicate that Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with disturbances of the circadian rhythm in patients. We examined the effect of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide, the main component of the senile plaques playing a critical role in the deregulation of calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis in AD, on the circadian oscillation of cytosolic calcium (Ca2+) levels in vitro. The experiments we carried out in human primary skin fibroblasts.

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Mar
2017

Allopregnanolone (AP) is supposed to exert beneficial actions including anxiolysis, analgesia, neurogenesis and neuroprotection. However, although mitochondrial dysfunctions are evidenced in neurodegenerative diseases, AP actions against neurodegeneration-induced mitochondrial deficits have never been investigated. Also, the therapeutic exploitation of AP is limited by its difficulty to pass the liver and its rapid clearance after sulfation or glucuronidation of its 3-hydroxyl group.

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Dec
1969

There is strong evidence for abnormal salience processing in patients with psychotic experiences. In particular, there are indications that the degree of aberrant salience processing increases with the severity of positive symptoms. The aim of the present study was to elucidate this relationship by means of brain imaging.

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Aug
2016

Sleep is ubiquitous in animals and humans, but its function remains to be further determined. The synaptic homeostasis hypothesis of sleep-wake regulation proposes a homeostatic increase in net synaptic strength and cortical excitability along with decreased inducibility of associative synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) due to saturation after sleep deprivation. Here we use electrophysiological, behavioural and molecular indices to non-invasively study net synaptic strength and LTP-like plasticity in humans after sleep and sleep deprivation.

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Aug
2016

Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) has been associated with toxic intracellular aggregates of hyperphosphorylated tau (FTLD-tau). Moreover, genetic studies identified mutations in the MAPT gene encoding tau in familial cases of the disease. In this review, we cover a range of aspects of tau function, both in the healthy and diseased brain, discussing several in vitro and in vivo models.

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Dec
1969

Alzheimer, mitochondria and gender.

Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2016 08 29;67:89-101. Epub 2016 Apr 29.
Amandine Grimm, Ayikoe Guy Mensah-Nyagan, Anne Eckert
Epidemiological studies revealed that two-thirds of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients are women and the drop of sex steroid hormones after the menopause has been proposed to be one risk factor in AD. Similarly, the decrease of circulating testosterone levels with aging may also increase the risk of AD in men. Studies attest the neuroprotective effects of sex hormones in animal models of AD, but clinical trial data remain controversial.

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Dec
1969

Impairment in working memory (WM) is a core symptom in schizophrenia. However, little is known about how clinical features influence functional brain activity specific to WM processing during the development of first-episode psychosis (FEP) to schizophrenia (SZ). We compared functional WM-specific brain activity in FEP and SZ patients, including the effects of the duration of illness, psychopathological factors and antipsychotic medication.

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Dec
1969

The human sleep-wake cycle is governed by two major factors: a homeostatic hourglass process (process S), which rises linearly during the day, and a circadian process C, which determines the timing of sleep in a ~24-h rhythm in accordance to the external light-dark (LD) cycle. While both individual processes are fairly well characterized, the exact nature of their interaction remains unclear. The circadian rhythm is generated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus ("master clock") of the anterior hypothalamus, through cell-autonomous feedback loops of DNA transcription and translation.

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Dec
1969

The predictive therapeutic value of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its changes associated with the use of specific antidepressants are still unclear. In this study, we examined BDNF as a peripheral and NAA as a central biomarker over the time course of antidepressant treatment to specify both of their roles in the response to the medication and clinical outcome.
We examined serum BDNF (ELISA kit) in a sample of 76 (47 female and 29 male) depressed patients in a naturalistic setting.

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Dec
1969

The protein brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a member of the neurotrophin family of growth factors involved in plasticity of neurons in several brain regions. There are numerous evidence that BDNF expression is decreased by experiencing psychological stress and that, accordingly, a lack of neurotrophic support causes major depression. Furthermore, disruption in sleep homeostatic processes results in higher stress vulnerability and is often associated with stress-related mental disorders.

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Apr
2016

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that represents the most common form of dementia among the elderly. Despite the fact that AD was studied for decades, the underlying mechanisms that trigger this neuropathology remain unresolved. Since the onset of cognitive deficits occurs generally within the 6th decade of life, except in rare familial case, advancing age is the greatest known risk factor for AD.

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Dec
1969

In major depression cognitive impairment is common and may persist despite improvement in psychopathology. So far it is unclear how closely related improvement in cognitive functioning is to the clinical course of depression. Further, it is unclear whether recovery from cognitive impairment is linked to changes in serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (sBDNF).

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Dec
1969

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the presence of amyloid plaques (aggregates of amyloid-β [Aβ]) and neurofibrillary tangles (aggregates of tau) in the brain, but the underlying mechanisms of the disease are still partially unclear. A growing body of evidence supports mitochondrial dysfunction as a prominent and early, chronic oxidative stress-associated event that contributes to synaptic abnormalities, and, ultimately, selective neuronal degeneration in AD. Using a high-resolution respirometry system, we shed new light on the close interrelationship of this organelle with Aβ and tau in the pathogenic process underlying AD by showing a synergistic effect of these two hallmark proteins on the oxidative phosphorylation capacity of mitochondria isolated from the brain of transgenic AD mice.

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Jan
2016

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disease marked by a progressive cognitive decline. Metabolic impairments are common hallmarks of AD, and amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide and hyperphosphorylated tau protein--the two foremost histopathological signs of AD--have been implicated in mitochondrial dysfunction. Neurosteroids have recently shown promise in alleviating cognitive and neuronal sequelae of AD.

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Sep
2015

Hippocampal volume has been shown to be sensitive to variations in estrogen and progesterone levels across rodents' estrous cycle. However, little is known about the covariation of hormone levels and brain structure in the course of the human menstrual cycle. Here, we examine this covariation with a multi-method approach that includes several brain imaging methods and hormonal assessments.

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Dec
2014

A relationship between bulimia nervosa and reward-related behavior is supported by several lines of evidence. The dopaminergic dysfunctions in the processing of reward-related stimuli have been shown to be modulated by the neurotrophin brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the hormone leptin.
Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, a reward learning task was applied to study the behavior of 20 female subjects with remitted bulimia nervosa and 27 female healthy controls under placebo and catecholamine depletion with alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine (AMPT).

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Dec
2014

The brain has high energy requirements to maintain neuronal activity. Consequently impaired mitochondrial function will lead to disease. Normal aging is associated with several alterations in neurosteroid production and secretion.

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Dec
2014

Preclinical and clinical studies support a role for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the pathophysiology of stress-related mood disorders. Furthermore, BDNF seems to be linked to antidepressant action. Available pharmacological treatments for depression are characterized by significant limitations with low efficacy and a major delay until treatment response.

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Aug
2014

Major depressive disorder has been associated with low serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (sBDNF), which is functionally involved in neuroplasticity. Although sBDNF levels tend to normalize following psychopathological improvement with antidepressant treatment, it is unclear how closely sBDNF changes are associated with treatment outcome.
To examine whether baseline sBDNF or early changes in sBDNF are predictive of response to therapy.

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Dec
1969

Sleep plays a pivotal role in normal biological functions. Sleep loss results in higher stress vulnerability and is often found in mental disorders. There is evidence that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) could be a central player in this relationship.

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Aug
2014

The energy demand and calcium buffering requirements of the brain are met by the high number of mitochondria in neurons and in these, especially at the synapses. Mitochondria are the major producer of reactive oxygen species (ROS); at the same time, they are damaged by ROS that are induced by abnormal protein aggregates that characterize human neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Because synaptic mitochondria are long-lived, any damage exerted by these aggregates impacts severely on neuronal function.

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Dec
1969

The amyloidogenic peptide Aβ plays a key role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) forming insoluble aggregates in the brain. The peptide shares its amyloidogenic properties with amylin that forms aggregates in the pancreas of patients with Type 2 Diabetes mellitus (T2DM). While epidemiological studies establish a link between these two diseases, it is becoming increasingly clear that they also share biochemical features suggesting common pathogenic mechanisms.

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Oct
2013

Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been demonstrated to play an important role as signaling and regulating molecules in human adipocytes. In order to evaluate the differential modulating roles of antioxidants, we treated human adipocytes differentiated from human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells with MitoQ, resveratrol and curcumin. The effects on ROS, viability, mitochondrial respiration and intracellular ATP levels were examined.

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Dec
1969

Data from clinical studies and results from animal models suggest an involvement of the neurotrophin system in the pathology of depression and antidepressant treatment response. Genetic variations within the genes coding for the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its key receptor Trkb (NTRK2) may therefore influence the response to antidepressant treatment.
We performed a single and multi-marker association study with antidepressant treatment outcome in 398 depressed Caucasian inpatients participating in the Munich Antidepressant Response Signature (MARS) project.

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Dec
1969

Alzheimer's disease (AD) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) are complex human brain disorders that affect an increasing number of people worldwide. With the identification first of the proteins that aggregate in AD and FTLD brains and subsequently of pathogenic gene mutations that cause their formation in the familial cases, the foundation was laid for the generation of animal models. These recapitulate essential aspects of the human conditions; expression of mutant forms of the amyloid-β protein-encoding APP gene in mice reproduces amyloid-β (Aβ) plaque formation in AD, while that of mutant forms of the tau-encoding microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) gene reproduces tau-containing neurofibrillary tangle formation, a lesion that is also prevalent in FTLD-Tau.

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Aug
2012

Tauopathies like the "frontotemporal dementia with Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17" (FTDP-17) are characterized by an aberrant accumulation of intracellular neurofibrillary tangles composed of hyperphosphorylated tau. For FTDP-17, a pathogenic tau mutation P301L was identified. Impaired mitochondrial function including disturbed dynamics such as fission and fusion are most likely major pathomechanisms of most neurodegenerative diseases.

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Aug
2012

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common progressive neurodegenerative disease. Today, AD affects millions of people worldwide and the number of AD cases will increase with increased life expectancy. The AD brain is marked by severe neurodegeneration like the loss of synapses and neurons, atrophy and depletion of neurotransmitter systems in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex.

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Aug
2012

Mitochondrial effects of Ginkgo biloba extract.

Int Psychogeriatr 2012 Aug;24 Suppl 1:S18-20
Anne Eckert
Oxidative stress and mitochondrial failure promote altered protein degradation, reduced neurotransmission, synapse loss and tau/hyperphosphorylation, which are early stages in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A growing volume of data confirms that Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) reduces oxidative stress and improves mitochondrial respiration and thus may be useful in preventing or slowing down the progression of AD. Treatment of Caenorhabditis elegans with GBE- extract reduces oxidative stress and extends median lifespan compared with controls.

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Aug
2012

Hormonal deficit in post-menopausal women has been proposed to be one risk factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD) since two thirds of AD patients are women. However, large treatment trials showed negative effects of long-term treatment with oestrogens in older women. Thus, oestrogen treatment after menopause is still under debate, and several hypotheses trying to explain the failure in outcome are under discussion.

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Aug
2012

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, and amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and tau-containing tangles are its histopathological hallmark lesions. These do not occur at random; rather, the neurodegenerative process is stereotyped in that it is initiated in the entorhinal cortex and hippocampal formation. Interestingly, it is the latter brain area where the calcium-sensing enzyme hippocalcin is highly expressed.

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Dec
1969

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a conformational disease that is characterized by amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition in the brain. Aβ exerts its toxicity in part by receptor-mediated interactions that cause down-stream protein misfolding and aggregation, as well as mitochondrial dysfunction. Recent reports indicate that Aβ may also interact directly with intracellular proteins such as the mitochondrial enzyme ABAD (Aβ binding alcohol dehydrogenase) in executing its toxic effects.

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Jun
2012

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related progressive neurodegenerative disorder mainly affecting elderly individuals. The pathology of AD is characterized by amyloid plaques (aggregates of amyloid-β [Aβ]) and neurofibrillary tangles (aggregates of tau), but the mechanisms underlying this dysfunction are still partially unclear.
A growing body of evidence supports mitochondrial dysfunction as a prominent and early, chronic oxidative stress-associated event that contributes to synaptic abnormalities and, ultimately, selective neuronal degeneration in AD.

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Aug
2011

The relationship between aging and daily "circadian" behavior in humans is bidirectional: on the one hand, dysfunction of circadian clocks promotes age-related maladies; on the other, aging per se leads to changes and disruption in circadian behavior and physiology. For the latter case, recent research suggests that changes to both homeostatic and circadian sleep regulatory mechanisms may play a role. Could hormonal changes be in part responsible?

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Oct
2011

Modes of Aβ toxicity in Alzheimer's disease.

Cell Mol Life Sci 2011 Oct 25;68(20):3359-75. Epub 2011 Jun 25.
Jürgen Götz, Anne Eckert, Miriam Matamales, Lars M Ittner, Xin Liu
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is reaching epidemic proportions, yet a cure is not yet available. While the genetic causes of the rare familial inherited forms of AD are understood, the causes of the sporadic forms of the disease are not. Histopathologically, these two forms of AD are indistinguishable: they are characterized by amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide-containing amyloid plaques and tau-containing neurofibrillary tangles.

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May
2011

The pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by amyloid plaques (aggregates of amyloid-β (Aβ)) and neurofibrillary tangles (aggregates of tau) and is accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction, but the mechanisms underlying this dysfunction are poorly understood. In this review, we discuss the critical role of mitochondria and the close inter-relationship of this organelle with the two main pathological features in the pathogenic process underlying AD. Moreover, we summarize evidence from AD post-mortem brain as well as cellular and animal AD models showing that Aβ and tau protein trigger mitochondrial dysfunction through a number of pathways, such as impairment of oxidative phosphorylation, elevation of reactive oxygen species production, alteration of mitochondrial dynamics, and interaction with mitochondrial proteins.

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Apr
2011

Human aging is accompanied by dramatic changes in daily sleep-wake behavior: Activity shifts to an earlier phase, and the consolidation of sleep and wake is disturbed. Although this daily circadian rhythm is brain-controlled, its mechanism is encoded by cell-autonomous circadian clocks functioning in nearly every cell of the body. In fact, human clock properties measured in peripheral cells such as fibroblasts closely mimic those measured physiologically and behaviorally in the same subjects.

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Mar
2011

Amyloid-Beta interaction with mitochondria.

Int J Alzheimers Dis 2011 Mar 15;2011:925050. Epub 2011 Mar 15.
Lucia Pagani, Anne Eckert
Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of amyloid-beta(Aβ)-induced neuronal toxicity in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The recent emphasis on the intracellular biology of Aβ and its precursor protein (AβPP) has led researchers to consider the possibility that mitochondria-associated and/or intramitochondrial Aβ may directly cause neurotoxicity. In this paper, we will outline current knowledge of the intracellular localization of both Aβ and AβPP addressing the question of how Aβ can access mitochondria.

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May
2011

The 12/15-lipoxygenase(s) (LOX), poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP-1) activity and mitochondrial apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) protein in the amyloid β (Aβ) toxicity were investigated in PC12 cells that express either wild-type (APPwt) or double Swedish mutation (APPsw) forms of human Aβ precursor protein. Different levels of Aβ secretion and free radicals formation characterize these cells. The results demonstrated a relationship between the Aβ levels and LOX protein expression and activity.

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Oct
2010

Diurnal behavior in humans is governed by the period length of a circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the brain hypothalamus. Nevertheless, the cell-intrinsic mechanism of this clock is present in most cells of the body. We have shown previously that for individuals of extreme chronotype ("larks" and "owls"), clock properties measured in human fibroblasts correlated with extreme diurnal behavior.

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Dec
1969

From circulation to digestion to excretion, a circadian clock synchronizes most aspects of mammalian physiology with the solar day. During normal ageing, this daily coordination gradually erodes, and during pathological ageing such erosion is exacerbated. Recent experiments suggest that therapies aimed at sustaining circadian function increase quality of life in elderly patients.

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Aug
2010

Energy deficiency and mitochondrial failure have been recognized as a prominent, early event in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recently, we demonstrated that chronic exposure to amyloid-beta (Abeta) in human neuroblastoma cells over-expressing human wild-type amyloid precursor protein (APP) resulted in (i) activity changes of complexes III and IV of the oxidative phosphorylation system (OXPHOS) and in (ii) a drop of ATP levels which may finally instigate loss of synapses and neuronal cell death in AD. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate whether standardized Ginkgo biloba extract LI 1370 (GBE) is able to rescue Abeta-induced defects in energy metabolism.

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Aug
2010

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by amyloid-beta (Abeta) and tau deposition in brain. It has emerged that Abeta toxicity is tau dependent, although mechanistically this link remains unclear. Here, we show that tau, known as axonal protein, has a dendritic function in postsynaptic targeting of the Src kinase Fyn, a substrate of which is the NMDA receptor (NR).

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Jun
2010

As a fully differentiated organ, our brain is very sensitive to cumulative oxidative damage of proteins, lipids, and DNA occurring during normal aging because of its high energy metabolism and the relative low activity of antioxidative defense mechanisms. As a major consequence, perturbations of energy metabolism including mitochondrial dysfunction, alterations of signaling mechanisms and of gene expression culminate in functional deficits. With the increasing average life span of humans, age-related cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) are a major health concern in our society.

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Jun
2010

The histopathological characteristics of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are amyloid-beta (Abeta) containing plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) as well as neuronal and synaptic loss. Until today, the underlying mechanisms of the interplay of plaques and tangles remained unresolved. There is increasing evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction might be a possible link, as revealed by studies in several APP and tau transgenic mouse models.

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Apr
2010

Alzheimer's disease (AD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. Both diseases are characterized by amyloid deposition in target tissues: aggregation of amylin in T2DM is associated with loss of insulin-secreting beta-cells, while amyloid beta (A beta) aggregation in AD brain is associated with neuronal loss. Here, we used quantitative iTRAQ proteomics as a discovery tool to show that both A beta and human amylin (HA) deregulate identical proteins, a quarter of which are mitochondrial, supporting the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction is a common target in these two amyloidoses.

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