Contact Information:

Media Contact

Olivia Poisson

Twitter: UniBasel_en

Kredyty mieszkaniowe Kredyty mieszkaniowe

Sprawdź aktualny ranking najlepszych kredytów mieszkaniowych w Polsce - atrakcyjne kredytowanie nieruchomości. - Press Release Distribution
RSS - Press News Release
Add Press Release

Tracking down the causes of Alzheimer's

Tracking down the causes of Alzheimer's
( Genes are not only important for regular memory performance, but also for the development of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers at the University of Basel now identified a specific group of genes that plays a central role in both processes. This group of molecules controls the concentration of calcium ions inside the cell. Their results appear in the current issue of the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Intact memory capacity is crucial for everyday life. This fact becomes apparent once a memory disorder has developed. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of age-associated memory disorders. Due to increasing life expectancy, the disease is on the rise in Switzerland and worldwide. Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment to cure or even slow down Alzheimer's yet. Thus, understanding the origins of this neurodegenerative disorder is key to the development of much needed treatments.

Scientists have known for some years now, that genes do not only play a crucial role in normal memory performance, but also in the development of Alzheimer's. However, it was so far unclear if specific genes are involved in both these processes.

Researchers at the transfaculty research platform at the Psychiatric University Clinics Basel and the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Basel were now able to show in a large scale study that a specific group of genes controls several processes that are central for regular brain functions as well as for the development of Alzheimer. First author Dr. Angela Heck collected and analyzed data of over 57,000 participants for this study.

Calcium is crucial The study identified genes responsible for the concentration of calcium ions in the cell as central players of physiological and disease processes in the brain. Calcium genes stand in mutual relationship with memory performance of young and older healthy adults as well as with the function of the hippocampus, a brain region that is central to intact memory. Furthermore, calcium genes correlate with the risk for Alzheimer disease. The results contribute to the understanding of the complex processes that lead to memory disorders, such as Alzheimer's.


This study is part of the Basel Genetics Memory Project led by professors Dominique de Quervain and Andreas Papassotiropoulos. The two co-heads of the transfaculty research platform are dedicated to translating basic research results to therapy projects as fast as possible.

Original source Angela Heck, Matthias Fastenrath, David Coynel, Bianca Auschra, Horst Bickel, Virginie Freytag, Leo Gschwind, Francina Hartmann, Frank Jessen, Hanna Kaduszkiewicz, Wolfgang Maier, Annette Milnik, Michael Pentzek, Steffi G. Riedel-Heller, Klara Spalek, Christian Vogler, Michael Wagner, Siegfried Weyerer, Steffen Wolfsgruber, Dominique F. de Quervain, Andreas Papassotiropoulos.
Genetic Analysis of Association Between Calcium Signaling and Hippocampal Activation, Memory Performance in the Young and Old, and Risk for Sporadic Alzheimer Disease.
JAMA Psychiatry | doi:

[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Tracking down the causes of Alzheimer's


Study shows how fracking documentary influenced public perception and political change

WASHINGTON, DC, September 2, 2015 -- Social scientists have long argued documentary films are powerful tools for social change. But a University of Iowa (UI) sociologist and his co-researchers are the first to use the Internet and social media to systematically show how a documentary film reshaped public perception and ultimately led to municipal bans on hydraulic fracking. By measuring an uptick in online searches as well as social media chatter and mass media coverage, Ion Bogdan Vasi, an associate professor of sociology at the UI and corresponding author of a new ...

Exposure to phthalates could be linked to pregnancy loss

A new study of more than 300 women suggests that exposure to certain phthalates -- substances commonly used in food packaging, personal-care and other everyday products -- could be associated with miscarriage, mostly between 5 and 13 weeks of pregnancy. The research, appearing in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, is the first epidemiological study on non-work-related exposure to phthalates to provide evidence for the possible link among a general population. Out of concern over the potential health effects of phthalates, the U.S. has banned six of these ...

New research discovers immune system protein can fix cystic fibrosis cells

Scientific experiments examining what happens to the faulty channel protein that causes cystic fibrosis during inflammation have yielded unexpected and exciting results. The study, conducted by Sara Bitam and her colleagues at INSERM in France, has just passed peer review on open science publishing platform F1000Research. Cystic fibrosis is a life-limiting auto¬somal recessive monogenic disorder that affects 1 in every 2000 - 3500 newborns in the EU and US per year. It is caused by mutations in the gene that encodes the CFTR protein, an epithelial ion channel involved ...

Blueberry extract could help fight gum disease and reduce antibiotic use

Gum disease is a common condition among adults that occurs when bacteria form biofilms or plaques on teeth, and consequently the gums become inflamed. Some severe cases, called periodontitis, call for antibiotics. But now scientists have discovered that wild blueberry extract could help prevent dental plaque formation. Their report in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry could lead to a new therapy for periodontitis and a reduced need for antibiotics. Many people have had some degree of gum inflammation, or gingivitis, caused by dental plaque. The gums get ...

Evidence that Earth's first mass extinction was caused by critters not catastrophe

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - In the popular mind, mass extinctions are associated with catastrophic events, like giant meteorite impacts and volcanic super-eruptions. But the world's first known mass extinction, which took place about 540 million years ago, now appears to have had a more subtle cause: evolution itself. "People have been slow to recognize that biological organisms can also drive mass extinction," said Simon Darroch, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at Vanderbilt University. "But our comparative study of several communities of Ediacarans, ...

New study reveals how changes in lifestyle are contributing to dramatic rise in obesity

New research from Royal Holloway, University of London has found that changes in lifestyle over the past 30 years have led to a sharp reduction in the strenuousness of daily life, which researchers say may explain why there has been a dramatic rise in obesity. The study, carried out by Dr Melanie Luhrmann from the Department of Economics along with Professor Rachel Griffith and Dr Rodrigo Lluberas, revealed that while obesity rates have almost trebled, surprisingly, our actual calorie intake has fallen by around 20 per cent compared to 30 years ago. The researchers found ...

Silk bio-ink could help advance tissue engineering with 3-D printers

Advances in 3-D printing have led to new ways to make bone and some other relatively simple body parts that can be implanted in patients. But finding an ideal bio-ink has stalled progress toward printing more complex tissues with versatile functions -- tissues that can be loaded with pharmaceuticals, for example. Now scientists, reporting in the journal ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, have developed a silk-based ink that could open up new possibilities toward that goal. Most inks currently being developed for 3-D printing are made of thermoplastics, silicones, ...

Struggles ahead in China for chemical and pharmaceutical companies

China's economic downturn plus other factors, including overcapacity and tightening regulations, mean the next two to three years could be challenging for the foreign chemical and pharmaceutical companies located there. To survive in China as it adjusts to a slower pace of growth, businesses will likewise need to adapt, reports Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society. Jean-François Tremblay, a senior correspondent at C&EN, notes that owing to reforms initiated in 1978, China has been a profitable place for chemical ...

Study provides insights into the mechanisms of fine-tuning of wheat to diverse environments

Study provides insights into the mechanisms of fine-tuning of wheat to diverse environments
MANHATTAN, Kansas -- A Kansas State University wheat geneticist is part of a breakthrough study that identifies one of the wheat genes that controls response to low temperature exposure, a process called vernalization. Natural variation in vernalization genes defines when the plant begins to flower and is critical for adaptation to different environments. Researchers anticipate this will help wheat breeders design wheat varieties that can adapt and thrive in changing environments around the world. Eduard Akhunov, associate professor in the plant pathology department, ...

Men in China face increasing tobacco-related cancer risks

In China, smoking now causes nearly a quarter of all cancers in adult males. The finding comes from a large study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, as part of a Special Issue on Lung Cancer in China. High uptake rates of cigarette smoking in teenaged males and continued use in adulthood foreshadow even greater tobacco-related cancer risks for the nation. Tobacco-related deaths have been declining steadily in most developed countries; however, China now produces and consumes about 40 percent of the world's cigarettes, ...


How your brain decides blame and punishment -- and how it can be changed

Uniquely human brain region enables punishment decisions

Pinpointing punishment

Chapman University publishes research on attractiveness and mating

E-cigarettes: Special issue from Nicotine & Tobacco Research

Placental problems in early pregnancy associated with 5-fold increased risk of OB & fetal disorders

UT study: Invasive brood parasites a threat to native bird species

Criminals acquire guns through social connections

Restoring ocean health

Report: Cancer remains leading cause of death in US Hispanics

Twin study suggests genetic factors contribute to insomnia in adults

To be fragrant or not: Why do some male hairstreak butterflies lack scent organs?

International team discovers natural defense against HIV

Bolivian biodiversity observatory takes its first steps

Choice of college major influences lifetime earnings more than simply getting a degree

Dominant strain of drug-resistant MRSA decreases in hospitals, but persists in community

Synthetic biology needs robust safety mechanisms before real world application

US defense agencies increase investment in federal synthetic biology research

Robots help to map England's only deep-water Marine Conservation Zone

Mayo researchers identify protein -- may predict who will respond to PD-1 immunotherapy for melanoma

How much water do US fracking operations really use?

New approach to mammograms could improve reliability

The influence of citizen science grows despite some resistance

Unlocking secrets of how fossils form

What happens on the molecular level when smog gets into the lungs?

Using ultrasound to clean medical instruments

Platinum and iron oxide working together get the job done

Tiny silica particles could be used to repair damaged teeth, research shows

A quantum lab for everyone

No way? Charity's logo may influence perception of food in package

[] Tracking down the causes of Alzheimer's is a service of DragonFly Company. All Rights Reserved.
Issuers of news releases are solely responsible for the accuracy of their content.