A team of Chilean researchers made great strides in the fight against Alzheimer’s, after discovering a relationship between the activation of a brain pathway and the correct metabolism of sugars in the brain .
The study, led by doctors Nibaldo Inestrosa and Pedro Cisternas , of the Center for Aging and Regeneration of the Catholic University (CARE Chile UC), discovered a method developed in animals, which has improved cognitive ability in mice.
According to Cisternas, in the information reported by the EFE Agency, the research carried out on animals “indicates that the activation of the Wnt pathway stimulates glucose metabolism, mainly in neurons, a very important process in the brain, an organ that requires a lot of glucose and energy for its proper functioning, especially in regions related to memory and learning processes, such as the cortex and the hippocampus. “
The brain, he said, represents 2% of body weight, but needs about 20% of oxygen and 25% of ATP (fundamental nucleotide in obtaining cellular energy) of the human body.
The ATP, stressed Cisternas, is the energy molecule occupied by cells for their vital functions and in this context, a significant aspect is that glucose metabolism is diminished in almost all neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Hungtinton, ” which is linked to a decrease in the brain’s ability to use glucose. “
For his part, Dr. Nibaldo Inestrosa , National Science Award, explained that in Alzheimer’s neurons suffer a deterioration due to the accumulation of a type of insoluble protein called beta amyloid, which disrupts the signaling function that communicates the neurons with each other .
Therefore, by recovering the Wnt path, it is possible to recover the relationship between brain cells and prevent injuries.
Based on this background, researchers are developing different strategies to activate the Wnt signaling pathway , in order to promote an improvement in the onset or progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
“We want to elaborate therapies from molecules that generate an activation of this pathway and thus, project benefits for patients with Alzheimer’s that allow mainly, to delay memory loss. This could be of great impact for those affected and their family environment, “said Dr. Cisternas
This discovery seeks to improve the quality of life of people suffering from Alzheimer’s.