JAD: Molecular-sized anesthetic promotes amyloid aggregation in Alzheimer's

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A study in the April issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, suggests that smaller molecular sized anesthetic is instrumental in promoting amyloid beta peptide oligomerization even when co-administered with a larger sized anesthetic, namely diazepam (Valium).

Biophysical studies have shown that smaller sized inhaled anesthetics promote oligomerization by inducing perturbation of three critical amino acid residues located in the helix-loop-helix domain of amyloid beta peptide and have a profound role in Alzheimer’s disease.

In this present study, Pravat K. Mandal, PhD, a professor at the National Brain Research Centre in Manesar, India, and colleagues have used nuclear MR, and monitored the influence of a larger-sized intravenous anesthetic, diazepam, as well as diazepam co-administered with halothane, smaller molecular-sized anesthetic, on amyloid beta peptide.

Mandal and colleagues observed that diazepam did not interact with the three critical amino acid residues, and no amyloid beta peptide oligomerization occured even after 63 days. However, when diazepam was co-administered with halothane, profound amyloid beta peptide oligomerization was observed.

The results strengthen the hypothesis that the presence of smaller molecular sized anesthetic is instrumental in promoting amyloid beta peptide oligomerization even when co-administered with a larger sized anesthetic, namely diazepam, wrote Mandal and colleagues.

"At this juncture, results from our biophysical 'in-vitro' studies cannot be translated directly to apply in the clinical setting but it certainly promotes further investigation at the clinical level. This area of research is potentially important for aged population and person at risk for Alzheimer’s disease," said Mandal.