Recent research has shown that a fluid present around the spine and brain might help scientists understand more about Alzheimer’s disease.
A group of experts from the Iowa State University conducted a comprehensive study to discover the main factors influencing the development of this condition. It turns out that high levels of this enzyme, called autotaxin, predict Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
More precisely, just a one-point increase equals to a 3.5 to five times higher probability that the patient will experience memory loss, according to assistant professor Auriel Willette and co-author of the study.
Autotaxin has been an important research subject in many cancer studies. Plus, it accurately indicates the likelihood of Type 2 diabetes. Patients with a one-point increase are 300 percent more likely to have at least pre-diabetes.
This strong indicator is now used to predict Alzheimer’s as well. This devastating brain disorder cannot be treated or cured. There are just a few medications which are believed to slow the progression of this disease.
Scientists say that age is the leading cause of this brain condition. In order to prevent the onset of this disease, Willette has been looking for the metabolic biomarkers which are the closest to the brain. Willette has previously found a link between memory decline, insulin resistance, and other detrimental effects on the brain which increase the likelihood of Alzheimer’s.
Although insulin is a strong indicator, the researchers needed a better biomarker, so their efforts led them to autotaxin which is found only in the cerebrospinal fluid. The scientists underlined that by constantly monitoring the autotaxin levels, they were able to better predict the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Just as insulin resistance, high autotaxin levels were also related to the loss of brain volume, poor memory function, and less blood sugar in the brain. However, autotaxin’s predictive rate proved to be higher.
Still, it is worth mentioning that Type 2 diabetes has previously been considered a primary cause of Alzheimer’s. More precisely, some experts regard this brain condition as Type 3 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes occurs most of the time due to obesity. That is why physical health is crucial in preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Researchers stress that those with higher autotaxin levels have an elevated risk of becoming obese, a condition which usually leads to insulin resistance.
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