About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Link between Dopamine and Alzheimer's Disease

by Hannah Joy on March 31, 2018 at 12:51 PM
Font : A-A+

Link between Dopamine and Alzheimer's Disease

The diminished dopamine-firing cells inside the brain responsible for forming new memories were found to function less effectively, as they help detect signs of Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Sheffield Biomedical Research Center at the University of Sheffield have discovered a loss of cells that use dopamine, a neurotransmitter that has a number of functions including regulating movement and emotional responses may cause the part of the brain responsible for forming new memories to function less effectively.

Advertisement


The findings could revolutionize screening for the early signs of Alzheimer's disease, which affects more than 520,000 people in the UK changing the way brain scans are acquired and interpreted as well as using different memory tests.

Lead author of the study, Professor Annalena Venneri, from the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) at the University of Sheffield, said: "Our findings suggest that if a small area of brain cells, called the ventral tegmental area, does not produce the right amount of dopamine for the hippocampus, a small organ located within the brain's temporal lobe, it will not work efficiently."
Advertisement

The hippocampus is associated with forming new memories, therefore these findings are crucial to the early detection of Alzheimer's disease. The results point at a change which happens very early on, which might trigger Alzheimer's disease.

"This is the first study to demonstrate such a link in humans," said Prof. Venneri.

Professor Venneri and fellow lead author Dr Matteo De Marco acquired 3Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans on 51 healthy adults, 30 patients with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, and 29 patients with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

3Tesla MRIs are twice the normal strength of normal MRI scans generating the highest quality images.

The results showed a key link between the size and function of the ventral tegmental area, the size of the hippocampus and the ability to learn new material.

"More studies are necessary, but these findings could potentially lead to a new way of screening the elderly population for early signs of Alzheimer's disease, changing the way brain scans are acquired and interpreted and using different memory tests," said Professor Venneri, who is also an Honorary Consultant at Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

"Another possible benefit is that it might lead to a different treatment option with the potential to change or halt the course of the disease very early, before major symptoms manifest.

"We now want to establish how early alterations in the ventral tegmental area can be seen and also test whether these alterations can be counteracted with treatments already available."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
How to Battle Boredom during COVID
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Recommended Reading
Diseases Related to Old Age
Ageing is referred to the accumulation of changes that brings a person closer to death....
Modified Atkins Diet: All You Need to Know
Modified Atkins diet designed for weight loss and to treat seizures is high in fat and low in ......
Risk Factors for Alzheimers Disease
Cognitively normal adults exhibiting atrophy of their temporal lobe or damage to blood vessels in .....
Rare Disease Could Help Find Cure for Nervous-Neurologic Disorders
Single strand breaks are one of the most common types of DNA damage and could help spot other rare ....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use