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publicado em 05/03/2013 às 15h28:00
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Biomarkers of aging may be linked to Alzheimer's

Blood test should show the early onset of diseases related to the central nervous system

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Foto: Marcos Santos/USP Imagens
Alzheimer and dementia: a long way to a peripheral biomarker
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Alzheimer and dementia: a long way to a peripheral biomarker

Studies at the University of São Paulo (USP) report that there are ways to evaluate what occurs in the central nervous system. The researchers were able to identify three compounds present in the blood associated with brain aging and may in the future open up avenues for early identification, through blood tests, such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Scientists have studied three compounds present in the organism whose levels vary with aging: cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cyclic GMP), nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). The TBARS is already used as a marker of brain aging, but the use of cyclic GMP and the U.S. is unprecedented, says Tania Marcourakis Professor, Department of Clinical and Toxicological Analysis, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (FCF).

The project objective was to study the blood (platelets) in patients with Alzheimer's disease. There are reports in the literature indicating that the disease is systemic, ie affects the whole organism, but is preferably at central nervous system account.

Compounds <b> linked to Alzheimer's </ b>

They compared three groups of platelets from patients treated at the Hospital das Clinicas (HC), Faculty of Medicine of the USP (USP): 37 young adults (18-49 years), 40 healthy elderly without any type of dementia (62 to 80 years ) and 53 subjects with Alzheimer's (55 to 89 years). Researchers found that aging increases the presence of NOS and TBARS, and there is a decrease of cyclic GMP. But in patients with Alzheimer this process is much more intense, that is, the presence of NOS and TBARS is far superior when compared to the other two groups. Excessive production of NOS leads to the formation of free radicals, says the teacher.

Another study was conducted in order to verify that this framework would also be found in the central nervous system. For this, the researchers made the monitoring of mice from 4 to 24 months of age. Parse the young adult (06 months), adult (12 months) and old (24 months) and comparing the levels of the three structures of two compounds in the central nervous system: the hippocampus, a brain region connected to the memory storage , and the frontal cortex, associated with the process of decision making and memory - two regions affected by Alzheimer's. The results were similar: the aging process leads to an increase in NOS and a decrease in TBARS and GMP same behavior observed in human study.

<b> Need for more research </ b>

The teacher recalled that as they have been promising these results, there is still a long way until it reaches some sort of biological marker to be used as an indicator of aging or even the chance of developing Alzheimer's. For this to happen you need a large population study that made the tracking of people, both as healthy carriers of the disease. Changes in the levels of the three markers studied may reflect the biological age is consistent with chronological age. But remember that a healthy diet, engaging in moderate exercise, genetic aspects and the search for a good quality of life are factors that can also influence these levels, the researcher emphasizes.

<i> With the information USP </ i>

   Palavras-chave:   Alzheimer's    Aging    Biological markers    Blood test    Dementia   
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