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High Levels of Leptin may help ward off Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

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[Best Syndication News] Leptin is a protein that is related to controlling appetite and weight however it is also serves the brain as well. Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) published a study that appears in the December 16th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) which saw people had a reduced risk for developing Alzheimer's Disease and dementia with higher levels of Leptin.

The researchers suggest that leptin has a positive effect on how the brain develops and functions. They believe that leptin interacts with how the hippocampus works and could be related to improved memory function by increasing the apolipoprotein E-dependent B amyloid uptake into the cell and reduce brain extracellular concentrations of B-amyloid. By reducing the amount of B-amyloid it could reduce the development of Alzheimer's disease which is a major part that contributes to the condition.

In the study, the senior author Sudha Seshadri, MD, an associate professor of neurology at BUSM and an investigator at The Framingham Heart Study along with fellow researchers, measured leptin concentrations in 785 participants of the Framingham Heart Study that did not have dementia. They isolated a subsample of 198 participants that remained dementia-free and underwent volumetric brain MRI between 1999 – 2005 and measured the leptin levels after 7.7 years. They followed up over a 12 year time frame and saw that there was a 25 percent risk of in developing Alzheimer's disease with those that had the lowest levels of leptin compared to to a 6 percent risk for those that had the highest levels of leptin.

The researchers noticed that those that had elevated leptin levels had a higher total cerebral brain volume along with a lower temproal horn volume. The researchers suggest that the study points out that testing leptin levels could serve as important biomarkers for measuring brain aging, and could potentially help to develop new preventative therapies in the future.

By: Marlene Donor

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