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Loss of Y chromosome in platelets linked to developing Alzheimer’s disease

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Men with platelets that don’t convey the Y chromosome are at more serious danger of being determined to have Alzheimer’s ailment, as indicated by another study.

These new discoveries by scientists at Uppsala University could lead to a simple test to identify those at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Professors Lars Forsberg and Jan Dumanski, from the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology at Uppsala University, and colleagues from Sweden, France, the UK, the US and Canada, investigated loss of the Y chromosome in over 3200 men with an average age of 73, and an age range of 37-96.

The loss of the Y chromosome (LOY) is known not up to 20 percent of men who are aged over 80, and is the most common genetic mutation acquired during a man’s lifetime.

Around 17 percent of them showed LOY in blood cells, and this increased with age. The researchers found that those with an existing diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) had a higher degree of LOY, and that LOY was also a marker for the likelihood of developing the disease during the follow-up period.

‘The idea for this research project came to me when I was writing our first paper on the relationship between LOY and the development of non-blood cancers. In thinking about the process known as immunosurveillance – the body’s ability to fight disease development throughout life – I found that it had been well studied in AD, and hence it occurred to me that LOY might be involved in this disease too,’ says Lars Forsberg.

Using standard molecular techniques, the identification of LOY in blood is easy to determine when it occurs in 10 percent or more of blood cells with a nucleus containing DNA. As well as being relatively common in older men, it also occurs less frequently in those who are younger.

Since women do not carry a Y chromosome, and men have, on average, shorter lives, it is possible that LOY may be related to the earlier death of men. However, the researchers say, the mechanisms and causes for their findings are still not properly understood.

They are currently investigating the functional effects of LOY, and looking at its role in different groups of men and in other diseases, in order to understand better which types of cancer are associated with LOY, as well as whether there is a link with early signs of dementia, for example mild cognitive impairment.

‘The blood cells we studied are involved in the immune system, and the fact that LOY in them is associated with disease in other tissues is striking. We therefore hypothesise that the loss of LOY in blood cells leads them to lose part of their immune function,’ says Jan Dumanski.

Previous research by the same group has shown that smoking greatly increases the risk of acquiring LOY, by as much as 400 percent. However, smoking appears to have a transient effect, and is also dose-dependent, so quitting could reverse the effect. This could be important to emphasise in smoking-cessation programmes, the researchers say.

The results are presented in American Journal of Human Genetics.

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PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team

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KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.

PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.

Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.

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