The researchers report that testing the modifications they found and comparing them with data from a large clinical trial revealed 27 regions of the genome where epigenetic changes occurred. They further report that the signatures were AD-specific and were not correlated with age. They also found what they describe as "hints" that the signatures they found could lead to a way to identify the disease in patients at a much younger age, allowing for treatment to delay onset. They conclude by noting that they found evidence suggesting that regulation, establishment and maintenance of the epigenetic signatures likely play a role in the progression of AD—they do acknowledge, however, that more work is required to confirm their suspicions
Julie G wrote:This could be crazy good for us... if we're willing to do the work.
Treating apoE4 neurons with a small-molecule structure corrector ameliorated the detrimental effects, providing a proof of concept that correcting the pathogenic conformation of apoE4 is a viable therapeutic approach for apoE4-related AD.
Hi Julie, I was trying to get through this one yesterday and got side-tracked. I'd believe epi-genetics is a part of it. Though the work on the genes themselves - apoe4 and others - is also pretty convincing.
There are three basic epi-genetic systems, which place or remove "epigenetic" marks on DNA or histones (which are like cord-keepers for DNA that is not currently being used): methylation of DNA, modification of histones, and small non-coding RNA.
I been working on one of these, with sulforaphane recently. It is a natural inhibitor of the enzymes which remove acetyl groups from histones or open or close certain groups of genes, opening or closing genetic programs. It's one of the mustard compounds of broccoli, etc. It survives the gut, is well-absorbed, and passes the BBB. There are all sorts of medical uses for SFN and similar compounds (called HDACis) - in cancer, neurological disorders, migraines, etc. I'm not making any claims or suggestions. Not a real doctor. Besides, people eat broccoli and Brussels sprouts -sources of SFN - all the time. (I'm happy to share info about which plants have higher levels, and food preparation strategies, if anyone is interested). But for those curious any quick google search will turn up dozens of research articles.
Regardless of what it may or may not mean with people's health it is clear that SFN is one way in which epigenetic markers can be altered, at least for some period of time. Other HDACis one could search for would be: trichlorstatin (TSA; not a "statin"), SAHA, sodium butyrate (yes, relatives of ketones), among others. Of course, there are likely side-effects of really trying to alter epi-genetic marks. But I think this is an interesting direction for the research to go.
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