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Surgery-related weight loss may lower Alzheimer's risk

June 6, 2011 - Washington

A new study, led by an Indian-origin researcher, has found that Weight loss after a Gastric bypass surgery may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

"Our study shows for the first time that Weight loss resulting from bariatric surgery leads to a reduction in the expression of genes related to Alzheimer's disease," said Paresh Dandona, professor at State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.

Researchers studied 15 morbidly obese patients with Type 2 Diabetes who underwent Roux-en-Y Gastric bypass surgery and lost nearly 86 pounds on an average, over six months.

The blood samples of these patients were examined before and six months after the surgery.

The research team has found that white blood cells in the circulating blood, called peripheral blood mononuclear cells express amyloid precursor Protein (APP).

This APP is the precursor of beta-amyloid, Protein pieces that form plaques in the brain, which is one of the key brain abnormalities in Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers measured the expression of APP and it fell by 22 pc after the Weight loss. Also, expression of The Messenger RNA that carries genetic information for APP decreased by an average of 31 pc.

The study found that after the Weight loss there also was reduced expression in other genes related to risk of Alzheimer's disease. These included the presenilin-2 gene, which mediates the conversion of APP into beta-amyloid.

"It is relevant that cognitive function has previously been shown to improve with Weight loss following bariatric surgery," Dandona added.

The study was presented at The Endocrine Society's 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston.


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