Hit on head can lead to development of neurodegenerative diseases

September 11, 2019  09:33

Hit on head can lead to development of neurodegenerative diseasesJust one hit on the head can lead to the development of neurodegenerative diseases, as scientists from Imperial College London found out by studying data from 32 volunteers, Science Translational Medicine reported.

Scientists wanted to understand the consequences of a single hard blow to the head and how the formation of tau protein tangles associated with Alzheimer's occurs. They compared the brains of 21 people who had received a single head injury in the past and 11 volunteers who did not have a head injury.

Experts used positron emission tomography (PET), which allows you to see a three-dimensional reconstruction of an object in the body. Scientists have focused on the tau protein found in neurons of the central nervous system and interacting with microtubules (the structure of the cell cytoskeleton). During Alzheimer's disease, tau protein leads to the formation of neurofibrillary tangles. Protein stops interacting with microtubules, and clots damage neurons.

The scans showed that people who have ever suffered head injuries have clusters of tau protein in the right occipital lobe. This is also true for participants who have suffered a head injury only once in their life. According to neurologist Nikos Gorgoraptis, the author of the scientific work, the study is the first step to scanning, allowing you to understand how much tau protein is in the brain and where it is located.

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