June 22, 2024

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Neuroinflammation in the brain is the “real culprit” of Alzheimer’s disease

Neuroinflammation in the brain is the “real culprit” of Alzheimer’s disease

“Natural Medicine”: Neuroinflammation in the brain is the “real culprit” of Alzheimer’s disease.

Recently, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) published an article in the journal Nature Medicine that neuroinflammation in the brain can accelerate the progression of cognitive impairment and trigger the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. This neuroinflammatory mechanism can be used as a therapeutic target for drugs.

Tharick Pascoal, associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Pittsburgh, said that amyloid plaques are protein aggregates that exist between nerve cells in the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the accumulation of amyloid plaques and the formation of tau protein fiber clusters in nerve cells.

"Natural Medicine": Neuroinflammation in the brain is the "real culprit" of Alzheimer's disease.

The results of this study show that the accumulation of amyloid plaques is not enough to cause dementia, but the interaction between neuroinflammation and amyloid pathology leads to the formation and spread of tau, which ultimately leads to large areas of brain damage and cognition obstacle. Targeted therapy of neuroinflammation may be beneficial for early treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and may help reverse or slow down the accumulation of tau protein in the brain and avoid the appearance of dementia symptoms.

The development of targeted drugs is a very complicated and arduous process, and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently recommended a simple and easy way to prevent dementia: talk to someone. Studies have pointed out that having a good listener in life helps the elderly to accept advice, love and emotions, improve cognitive ability, resist brain aging, and prevent dementia. The listener has a stronger effect on the patient’s brain than other forms of social support.

According to Dr. Kathleen Welsch-Bohmer, professor of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, supportive listening is not just about sitting there and listening to the elderly, but also allowing the other person to share their inner thoughts and listen in a calm, non-critical way. . The listening process can provide suggestions and solve problems. This kind of interaction makes two people feel connected to each other. Providing help and support is two-way. For people with heart knots, speaking things out can reduce the burden and allow them to focus on the problem from a different perspective. While the listener helps the other person to liberate, he also has a sense of emotional satisfaction.

This listener study began in 1948. A total of 2,171 participants participated in regular inspections and filled out evaluation questionnaires. The questionnaire included various types of social support and frequency, including listening, suggestions, love and emotion, emotional support, and so on. The researchers also measured the brain volume of each participant and performed neuropsychological tests.

It turns out that people who often find supportive listeners have a lower risk of dementia and other related dementia diseases, and listening is the only form of social support that is highly correlated with cognitive ability. Physiologically lower brain volume is related to poor cognitive ability, but the effect of the listener is more pronounced. For every unit of brain capacity lost, cognitive ability degrades about 0.25 years earlier, while those who lack supportive listeners degrade 4.25 years earlier.

This study particularly emphasizes the importance of having a good listener at the age of 40-50. The protective effect of communication between the two parties at this age is more obvious than listening to each other in old age. Therefore, people should form their own personal networks from a young age, keep in touch with each other from time to time, listen to each other’s ideas, slow down cognitive decline in old age, and prevent dementia.

Reference materials:

1. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found that inflammation of brain tissue can cause Alzheimer’s disease


2. verywellhealth

Study: Having Good Listeners Helps Build Cognitive Resilience



Association of Social Support With Brain Volume and Cognition


(source:internet, reference only)

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