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publicado em 25/10/2011 às 19h14:00
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More cells in the brain have key role in the formation of Alzheimer's

Astrocytes actively interfere in the formation of Alzheimer's because it takes place in them "an essential step" in the inflammatory process

EFE  
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Foto: Instituto Cajal
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"If there is inflammation in astrocytes, the disease does not develop," explains Ignacio Torres Aleman, CSIC researcher at the Cajal Institute and director of the study

A team led by researchers at the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) in Spain found that astrocytes, cells in the brain longer, have a role "key" in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Up to now know that inflammation of the brain associated with the disease is triggered by the action of cells microgliócitas, charged with the defense of the central nervous system.

This research found, however, that astrocytes actively interfere in the formation of Alzheimer's because it takes place "an essential step" in the inflammatory process.

Through genetic engineering, scientists reproduced the disease in mice and observed how the inflammation occurs, a process related to the production of a cytotoxic type of protein - called cytokines - that ends up being harmful to the brain in the long run.

"If there is inflammation in astrocytes, the disease does not develop," explains Ignacio Torres Aleman, CSIC researcher at the Cajal Institute and director of the study, published in the latest issue of the journal "Molecular Psychiatry".

Since they were discovered, astrocytes are responsible for the sustenance and nourishment of neurons.

"Currently it is believed that his role is more important and directly affect the brain function. Their influence on neurodegenerative diseases is gaining relevance. Our observations support this central role," he says.

The work paves the way for developing treatments that are able to attack the disease, because experts confirm the presence of these same processes in human brains.

"The anti-inflammatory drugs have been tested in patients with no positive effects. The reason is unclear, but now we know that the drugs should selectively fight against inflammation of these cells," said Torres Aleman.

Source: EFE
   Palavras-chave:   Alzheimer's    Astrocytes    Inflammation    Cells    Brain cells    Brain inflammation   
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