Brain en­zyme could pre­vent Alzheimer’s, neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­ease

Pakistan Observer - - KARACHI CITY - CITY RE­PORTER

AN EN­ZYME that pro­tects the brain against ox­ida­tive stress may also pro tect against the for­ma­tion of pro­tein clumps - a hall­mark of Alzheimer’s, Parkin­son’s, and other neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases. This is the con­clu­sion of a new study by re­searchers from Indiana Univer­sity, who re­cently pub­lished their find­ings in the jour­nal PLOS Bi­ol­ogy. The re­searchers be­lieve their dis­cov­ery could lead to the de­vel­op­ment of new drugs that pre­serve cog­ni­tive func­tion.

An ac­cu­mu­la­tion of pro­tein clumps is known to oc­cur in a num­ber of neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases, in­clud­ing Alzheimer’s dis­ease, Parkin­son’s dis­ease, and amy­otrophic lat­eral scle­ro­sis (ALS) - also known a Lou Gehrig’s dis­ease. In Alzheimer’s dis­ease, for ex­am­ple, stud­ies have shown that pa­tients of­ten ex­pe­ri­ence a build-up of a pro­tein called tau, which clumps to­gether in nerve cells to form “tan­gles.”

This process - known as pro­teinopa­thy oc­curs with dif­fer­ent pro­teins in a va­ri­ety of brain dis­eases and is be­lieved to play a role in their pro­gres­sion. Now, study co-leader Yousuf Ali, of the De­part­ment of Psy­cho­log­i­cal and Brain Sciences at Indiana, and col­leagues have dis­cov­ered an en­zyme that might halt pro­teinopa­thy.

To reach their find­ings, the team an­a­lyzed the brains of more than 500 de­ceased el­derly adults who were part of the Rush Mem­ory and Ag­ing Project be­fore death. As part of the project, the cog­ni­tive func­tion of each par­tic­i­pant was as­sessed an­nu­ally. The re­searchers fo­cused on lev­els of nicoti­namide mononu­cleotide adeny­lyl trans­ferase 2 (NMNAT2). This is an en­zyme known to pro­duce a com­pound called nico­tine ade­nine din­u­cleotide (NAD), which pro­tects our brains against ox­ida­tive stress trig­gered by ex­cess nerve cell ac­tiv­ity.

From their anal­y­sis, the re­searchers found that adults who had higher lev­els of NMNAT2 in their brains were less likely to have ex­pe­ri­enced cog­ni­tive de­cline; in­di­vid­u­als with lower lev­els of the en­zyme were more likely to have had de­men­tia. This find­ing in­di­cates that as well as pro­tect­ing the brain against ox­ida­tive stress, NMNAT2 also pro­tects the brain against mem­ory and learn­ing im­pair­ment.

Next, the team an­a­lyzed the brains of mice that had high lev­els of the tau pro­tein. The found that mice with higher lev­els of NMNAT2 in the hip­pocam­pus - the brain re­gion im­por­tant for learn­ing and mem­ory - had re­duced lev­els of tau, com­pared with mice that had lower lev­els of NMNAT2. Com­ment­ing on the pos­si­ble im­pli­ca­tions of their find­ings, the au­thors say: “Our work here sug­gests that NMNAT2 uses ei­ther its chap­er­one or en­zy­matic func­tion to com­bat neu­ronal in­sults in a con­text-de­pen­dent man­ner.

In Alzheimer dis­ease brains, NMNAT2 lev­els are less than 50 per­cent of con­trol lev­els, and we pro­pose that en­hanc­ing NMNAT2 func­tion may pro­vide an ef­fec­tive ther­a­peu­tic in­ter­ven­tion to re­serve cog­ni­tive func­tion.” KARACHI—In view of re­ported ‘unan­nounced and pro­long load-shed­ding in the city’, Sindh Chief Min­is­ter Syed Qaim Ali Shah presided over an im­por­tant meet­ing with K-Elec­tric au­thor­i­ties here Wed­nes­day and urged the power util­ity ser­vices not to con­duct load-shed­ding dur­ing Sehri and If­tari timings.

“I want you to ex­empt all the pump­ing sta­tions of wa­ter board from load shed­ding and set up a hot­line with Com­mis­sioner Karachi for close co­or­di­na­tion,” he said. The meet­ing was at­tended by Min­is­ter for Fi­nance & En­ergy Syed Mu­rad Ali Shah, Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary to CM Ala­mud­din Bullo, CEO K-Elec­tric Tayyab Ta­reen, pro­vin­cial Sec­re­tary En­ergy Agha Wasif and se­nior of­fi­cers of K-Elec­tric.

The CEO KE briefed the chief min­is­ter about their Ramzan plan and as­sured that no load-shed­ding would be con­ducted dur­ing Se­her and If­tar in res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial ar­eas of the city.

He added that unan­nounced load­shed­ding was not be­ing car­ried out any­where in the city. Ad­di­tion­ally, strate­gic lo­ca­tions re­main ex­empted through­out the day, in­clud­ing key hospi­tals and KWSB in­stal­la­tions.

The KE teams are on-ground and ac­tive 24/7 and have the ca­pa­bil­ity to re­solve any fault or is­sue to pro­vide max­i­mum re­lief to the peo­ple of Karachi. The over­all du­ra­tion of load­shed­ding has been de­creased.

Tayyab also high­lighted that there were iso­lated cases of tripping or faults due to over­load­ing and ‘ku­das’ for which the util­ity was con­duct­ing rig­or­ous anti-power theft drives in the city. The KE faces se­ri­ous re­sis­tance and some­times violent when kun­das or hooks are re­moved.

The Chief Min­is­ter said that he had held a meet­ing with KWSB and KMC ad­min­is­tra­tion. They com­plained against power out­age at the pump­ing sta­tions and some­times fluc­tu­a­tion or weak volt­ages. In both the cases, wa­ter sup­ply to the city is af­fected badly. This must be im­proved, he urged.

The Chief Min­is­ter asked the KE au­thor­i­ties to share load-shed­ding sched­ule with the Com­mis­sioner

photo Karachi who through his deputy com­mis­sioner would per­form mon­i­tor­ing work so unan­nounced load-shed­ding or power out­ages could be con­trolled.

He di­rected Com­mis­sioner Karachi to set up a hot­line with KE au­thor­i­ties so that the is­sues like ex­tra load-shed­ding, pro­long out­ages and tech­ni­cal faults could be solved through mu­tual co­or­di­na­tion. The KE au­thor­i­ties told the Chief Min­is­ter that there was a de­mand of 3,200 MW elec­tric­ity against which to­tal gen­er­a­tion comes to 2700 MW.

“We are putting all out ef­forts to over­come the short­fall and in­shal­lah within next few years it could be done,” said Tayyab. Fi­nance & En­ergy Min­is­ter said that he would also be in touch with KE to re­solve the is­sues of load-shed­ding.

Chief Min­is­ter Syed Qaim Ali Shah pre­sid­ing over a meet­ing with CEO K-Elec­tric Tayyab Taseen at CM House.—PO

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.