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Can brain trauma cause Alzheimer's?

Can brain trauma cause Alzheimer's?
26th July 2012

Researchers claim experiencing a single brain trauma can increase a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience details how a team from Tufts University School of Medicine in the US used post-mortem brain samples of those with Alzheimer's disease in a mouse study to understand the effects of injury.

It was found that those that had even a single event of moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) can disrupt the proteins that are essential in regulating enzymes associated with the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers unearthed the mechanisms that cause rapid post-injury elevation of the enzyme BACE1.

The presence of excessive BACE1 is believed to be the secretase involved in Alzheimer's disease pathology and is known to hinder memory in patients.

Dr Kendall Walker, first author of the study, commented: "A moderate-to-severe TBI, or head trauma, is one of the strongest environmental risk factors for Alzheimer's disease."

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