Dutch researchers analyzed samples from the brains of dozens of deceased patients who did not show any symptoms despite having Alzheimer's disease.

The Dutch Brain Bank in Amsterdam is a very important resource for researchers in neuroscience. The complex includes brain samples from volunteers who suffered from various neurological and psychiatric diseases, as well as from those who died without evidence of brain disease. In addition to the tissues, you will find an accurate report of the diagnoses, as well as a copy of each donor's anonymized medical record.

This database allows scientists to compare these symptoms to symptoms that patients experience in real life.

Recently, a team led by Luc de Vries from the Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience identified some puzzling anomalies in the vast amount of data. It turns out that some people showed all the signs of Alzheimer's disease in their brains, but when their medical records were examined, it turned out that they had no symptoms at all. Acta Neuropathologia Communications In the scientific journal.

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According to De Vries, until now it is not known exactly what processes occur in humans at the molecular and cellular level. For this reason, they looked for donors who showed no symptoms, despite showing abnormalities in their brain tissue. During the investigation, 12 patients were found.

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As is IFLScience As he writes, there are lifestyle factors that are thought to delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in those who are at high risk. Guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019 listed many of these factors, for example, if someone quits smoking, drinks less alcohol, follows a healthy diet and exercises regularly.

According to De Veres, previous studies have also shown that if someone performs complex tasks, they may develop symptoms of Alzheimer's disease later.

The researchers examined data and samples from a total of 35 donors, paying particular attention to gene expression, that is, how genes function in the particular people. According to De Veres, they found that a number of processes were changed in people who did not have symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

At first, the astrocytes seemed to produce more of the antioxidant metallothionein (a protein found primarily in the liver and kidneys). Astrocytes are star-shaped support cells in the brain, and de Vries likened them to “garbage.” It would make sense that those who are able to resist Alzheimer's disease for a longer period of time would have more efficient astrocytes.

The researchers also noted that the process responsible for removing toxic proteins in the brain worked normally in asymptomatic patients compared to those who had symptoms. They also revealed that energy production in the brains of the first group was much more efficient than expected.

The researchers stressed that more studies on this topic will be needed, but it already seems certain that the brains of Alzheimer's patients who do not show symptoms work differently from the brains of normal patients.

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