According to the Alzheimer’s Association, nearly half of all Americans 85 years and older have Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia and memory loss, and almost 5.1 million Americans are believed to be directly affected by the disease. They project that, by the middle of the century, 11-16 million people aged 65 and over will be victims of the disease. If effective treatments and preventative measures are not found and taken, the cost of medical and home care for victims of Alzheimer’s will be more than $20 trillion by 2010.

A March 3, 2011 edition of Journal of Neuroscience reported a study that found indications that plaque buildup in the brain can be linked to the liver.

Tests were conducted on laboratory mice to find out which gene influenced amyloid build-up in the brain. Three genes were found to protect the mice from the deposits. Lower amounts of each of these genes residing in the liver indicated some degree of protection of the brain. One of them, presenilin, is also found in the membrane of cells that are believed to promote Alzheimer’s in humans.

Building upon their previous works, the researchers amassed huge amounts of date to identify the appropriate genes and gather information about the identities of modifiers that can be inherited. One gene in the mouse, Presenilin2, is among a group of enzymes involved in generating pathogenic beta amyloids. In addition, it is links to a gene know to predispose humans with some particular variations to early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Researchers explain that “heritable expression of Presenilin2 was found in the liver but not in the brain. Higher expression of Presenilin2 in the liver correlated with greater accumulation of beta amyloid in the brain and development of Alzheimer’s-like pathology.”

Their theory that the production of beta amyloid begins in the liver, and not in the brain, and is transported through the bloodstream may change the direction research is being conducted on Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, as well as how to treat and prevent it. If further research supports their findings there will be clinical trials with qualified human candidates to gauge the beta amyloid production in the liver.

This is Ron White, and I am a memory speaker, and two-time USA Memory Champion. This research looks promising in finding the real source of the development of Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss. I will continue to keep you informed as to their progress.


Source: – Amyloid Deposits In Alzheimer’s Brain Plaques Begin In The Liver:

Journal of Neuroscience – March 3, 2011, DOI: 10.1002/jnr.22603