Alzheimer’s Plaques Might Begin in the Liver

September 11, 2017

The brain “plaques” commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease might actually originate in the liver, according to scientists at Scripps Research Institute in a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience Research. Researchers evaluated the effect of three different genes on the presence of amyloid-beta plaques in the brain. Lower gene activity in the liver coincided with lower prevalence of that gene in the brain and therefore with greater protection of the brain. One of those genes, called Presenilin2, is similar in both mice and humans. It is associated with increased production of amyloid-beta plaques in the liver, as well as early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Using a drug that prevents amyloid plaques created in the liver from entering the brain through the bloodstream, researchers were able to dramatically reduce the levels of amyloid-beta plaques in the brains of healthy mice. Scientists speculate that humans may have a similar response to this method of treatment. I am certainly not a scientist but I would imagine that the mice had pristine livers to start. In other words the mice were not on any other medications from researchers and were clean and sober! Obviously I am referring to the effects of drinking on the liver. So I wonder whether those factors affect the suppression or production of those plaques.