Annals of Neurology: Alzheimer’s disease may be due to excess iron
Experts from the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) have found a new cause of Alzheimer’s disease. As it turned out, senile dementia can develop due to iron. The results of the study were published in the Annals of Neurology.
The authors used the latest method for studying brain tissue – immunofluorescence. It is a technique used in biological research and diagnostics to detect specific antigens in biological samples. Scientists use fluorescent dyes and antibodies to detect and visualize
specific antigens in biological samples, in this case the brains of people with dementia.
The results of the analysis showed that ferroptosis (a type of cell death caused by iron accumulation) destroys immune cells in the brain. These cells are called microglia, they are involved in cleaning tissues from cellular “garbage”. However, in this case, the “junk” is particles of iron-rich myelin that form a protective layer around the nerves.
Experts believe that this effect underlies the mechanism of cognitive decline observed in Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Future work will be aimed at finding and developing therapeutic strategies against the development of ferroptosis.