Israeli researchers discovered a mechanism in the brains of Alzheimer’s female patients that leads to rapid cognitive deterioration, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) said in recent statement.
The finding provides the first molecular explanation for the accelerated cognitive damages occurring in the brains of women with Alzheimer’s disease, paving the way for the development of medicine suitable for female patients, the researchers said.
In a new study, led by HU and published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the team deciphered why the dementia indicators rise much faster and stronger in women than in men.
Females with Alzheimer’s disease suffer accelerated dementia and loss of cholinergic neurons compared to males, but the underlying mechanisms were unknown, the researchers said.
Their study found for the first time a direct link between a family of mitochondrial-originated RNA fragments and the rate of dementia progression in women.
The findings indicate that severe depletion of mitochondrial RNA fragments in the affected brain nuclei correlates with the rapid deterioration of cognitive abilities in women with Alzheimer’s.
The findings have implications for treating these symptoms by RNA-based therapies, which emerged in recent years, and now present a viable option, the researchers concluded. ■