Neurodegeneration

More than a century has passed since pathological protein aggregates were first identified in the brains of patients with neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs). Yet, we still do not have effective therapies to treat or slow the progression of these devastating diseases or diagnostics for early detection and monitoring disease progression.
Background and Purpose: Altered cholesterol metabolism is associated with increased risk of neurodegeneration and in particular with the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we investigate whether non-cholesterol sterols and oxysterols in the central nervous system are associated with (i) the presence of cerebral AD pathology, (ii) distinct aspects of AD pathology, i.e. amyloid pathology, neuronal injury, and tau pathology, and (iii) cognitive decline over time.
Glucose-dependent Insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) is a peptide hormone of the incretin family. It has growth factor properties and can re-activate energy utilization. In progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, energy utilization is much reduced, and GIP has the potential to reverse this. Furthermore, GIP can reduce the inflammation response in the brain and reduce levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Tests in animal models of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease show good neuroprotective effects.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and it is characterized by the deposition of amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. However, the complete pathogenesis of the disease is still unknown. High level of serum cholesterol has been found to positively correlate with an increased risk of dementia and some studies have reported a decreased prevalence of AD in patients taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Microglia are the predominant immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS) that exert key physiological roles required for maintaining CNS homeostasis, notably in response to chronic stress, as well as mediating synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. The repeated exposure to stress confers a higher risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases including sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD).