Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Wednesday, Feb 01, 2023

HKUST team finds key protein in Alzheimer's disease puzzle

HKUST team finds key protein in Alzheimer's disease puzzle

Scientists at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology led by incoming president Nancy Ip Yuk-yu have identified a blood protein that plays a key role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease - a discovery that could help treat millions of suffers.
There are currently 50 million people suffering from the disease worldwide, with the number expected to double in two decades.

Researchers had previously found that memory loss and cognitive problems, two major characteristics of Alzheimer's patients, were caused by cellular dysfunction, where immune cells (microglia) in the brain could not clear the toxic amyloid-beta peptides. The reason behind this impairment is still not understood.

Also, with the increase of age, A? deposits occur more in the brain due to a reduction in the microglial clearance of A?.

The same research team - led by Ip - had earlier found that cytokine interleukin-33 is helpful for the microglial clearance of A? in the brain. This time, they have discovered that reducing the level of a blood protein named soluble ST2, which plays a key role in disrupting A? clearance by microglia, can counter the disease's development and ameliorate Alzheimer's-related pathologies in patients.

Compared to other therapeutic strategies targeting the brain, this innovative treatment is a simpler and safer approach and only requires manipulation of the protein in the blood, researchers said.

"While this exciting work has further improved our understanding of Alzheimer's and identified an excellent drug target for developing therapeutics," said Ip, "it has also made clear the importance of precision medicine in tackling this complex, multifactorial disease."

The researchers also found people carrying a genetic variant termed "rs1921622" are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's , even as they age, because the sST2 levels in their blood are relatively low.

The correlation between sST2 levels and genetic factors is particularly keen in women carrying the APOE4 gene, who not only bear a higher risk of developing AD, but also show severe symptoms.

The strategy opens up new possibilities for women carrying APOE4, accounting for 25 to 50 percent of all Alzheimer's patients.

The study was recently published in the journal Nature Aging.

Ip said: "The next step is to develop clinical interventions that target sST2 and determine their viability as effective Alzheimer's preventatives and treatments, especially for female APOE4 carriers who are at high risk of developing Alzheimer's."
Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Close
0:00
0:00
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Chinese search giant Baidu to launch ChatGPT like AI chatbot.
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
China relaxes 'red lines' on property sector borrowing in policy pivot
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Vietnam removes two deputy PMs amid anti-corruption campaign
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
China’s recovery could add 1% to Australia’s GDP: JPMorgan 
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
China vows to strengthen financial support for enterprises: official
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
2 Billion People To Travel In China's "Great Migration" Over Next 40 Days
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Flight constraints expected to weigh on China travel rebound
Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Teslas now over 40% cheaper in China than US
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
China seeks course correction in US ties but will fight ‘all forms of hegemony’, top diplomat Wang Yi says
China will boost spending in 2023
African traders welcome end of China’s Covid travel curbs
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Preparations begin for Spring Festival travel rush
Domestic COVID-19 drug effective in trial
HK to see a full recovery, John Lee says in New Year message
Bargain hunters flock to last day of Hong Kong brands and products expo
Hong Kong aims for January 8 reopening of border with mainland China
×