Common anaesthetic produces Alzheimer’’s-related brain changes in miceNovember 13th, 2008 - 3:54 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, November 13 (ANI): A new study has confirmed that a commonly used anaesthetic can produce changes associated with Alzheimer’’s disease in the brains of living mammals.
Led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers, the study shows how administration of the gas isoflurane can lead to generation of the toxic amyloid-beta (A-beta) protein in the brains of mice.
“These are the first in vivo results indicating that isoflurane can set off a time-dependent cascade inducing apoptosis (cell death) and enhanced levels of the Alzheimer’’s-associated proteins BACE and A-beta,” says Dr. Zhongcong Xie of the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (MGH-MIND) and the MGH Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care.
“This work needs to be confirmed in human studies, but it’’s looking like isoflurane may not be the best anesthesia to use for patients who already have higher A-beta levels, such as the elderly and Alzheimer’’s patients,” adds the lead and corresponding author of the study, published in the Annals of Neurology.
Several studies have suggested that surgery and general anaesthesia may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’’s disease, and it is well known that a small but significant number of surgical patients experience a transient form of dementia in the postoperative period.
A study conducted last year showed that applying isoflurane to cultured neural cells led to the generation of A-beta. The current study was designed to see whether the same would happen in mice.
“This study cannot tell us about the long-term effects of isoflurane administration; that’’s something we will examine in future investigations,” says Xie, who is an assistant professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and director of the Geriatric Anesthesia Research Unit in the MGH Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care.
“Until we can directly assess the impact of isoflurane on biomarkers like A-beta levels in the plasma or cerebrospinal fluid of human patients, we cannot conclusively determine its role in increasing the risk for Alzheimer’’s or postoperative dementia,” adds Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, director of the MGH-MIND Genetics and Aging Research Unit, senior author of the study. (ANI)
- Scientists eliminate plaque formation in Alzheimer's - Sep 06, 2012
- Mechanism behind gene linked to both Alzheimer's, diabetes identified - Sep 29, 2010
- Sleep disorders are early signs of Alzheimer's - Sep 06, 2012
- The real culprit behind Alzheimer's disease - Apr 28, 2010
- Nicotine could play role in Alzheimer's disease therapy - Oct 14, 2010
- Blood vessel dysfunction linked to heart disease also plays role in Alzheimer's - Dec 03, 2010
- How are brain cells possessed and damaged by demons of dementia - Mar 04, 2010
- Alzheimer's drugs may have serious side-effects - Feb 20, 2012
- Second molecule in Alzheimer's toxic duo identified - Feb 04, 2011
- Four new suspect genes behind Alzheimer''s disease identified - Oct 31, 2008
- Factor X in coffee boosts protection against Alzheimer's - Jun 30, 2011
- Scientists isolate gene that protects against Alzheimer's - Jul 13, 2012
- Novel marker for Alzheimer's disease discovered - Sep 15, 2009
- Indications of Alzheimer's may be evident decades before first signs - Mar 29, 2011
- Drug reversing Alzheimer's symptoms found - Feb 12, 2012
Tags: anaesthetic, anesthesia research, associated proteins, bace, beta levels, biomarkers, brain changes, cell death, critical care, general anaesthesia, harvard medical school, hms, isoflurane, massachusetts general hospital, massgeneral, mgh, neural cells, postoperative period, surgical patients, vivo results