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A New Way Inflammation Causes Alzheimer’s Disease in ApoE4
Breaking News (April 2020)

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This stunning paper, published April 29th 2020 in the prestigious journal Nature (1), provides new insight into how the  ApoE4 allele may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

This study found that ApoE4 causes a breakdown of the protective blood-brain barrier near the regions of the brain impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. They found that markers of this breakdown predict cognitive decline independent of the stereotyped hallmarks of AD (amyloid plaques and tau tangles) and specifically in ApoE4 carriers, and not in ApoE3 individuals.

The study provides strong evidence that the relationship between ApoE4 and blood-brain barrier breakdown appears to be mediated by the CypA-MMP9 inflammatory pathway. In a way, this is encouraging for ApoE4 carriers because it suggests that the 3-15-fold increase in Alzheimer’s disease risk associated with ApoE4/ApoE3 and ApoE4/ApoE4 genotypes may be largely due to inflammation — a modifiable risk factor!

(A notable, but nerdy, aside is that ApoE3 genetically downregulates the CypA-MMP9 pathway through the LRP1 receptor. But ApoE4 can’t downregulate CypA-MMP9 in the same way!)

While this exquisite basic science paper does not offer medical or nutritional advice, other research suggests that a Mediterranean-style diet could decrease Alzheimer’s disease risk in ApoE4s as it contains natural compounds that inhibit the CypA-MMP9 inflammatory pathway ( 2). Such biochemical mechanisms agree with the epidemiological data that shows Mediterranean-style diets are associated with lower rates of AD ( 3).

Specifically, polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil (oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol) (2) and red onions and capers (quercetin) ( 2), and glucosinolates-derivatives found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts (sulforaphane) ( 4) have been shown to inhibit the CypA-MMP9 pathway.

Inflammation leads to blood-brain barrier damage and Alzheimer’s disease. A new study suggests a new mechanism by which an increased AD risk associated with ApoE4 may be largely due to inflammation - a modifiable risk factor!

Take Home Message

Inflammation leads to blood-brain barrier damage and Alzheimer’s disease.

This mechanism appears to be independent of the stereotypical hallmarks of Alzheimer’s, amyloid plaques and tau tangles.

This mechanism involves the CypA-MMP9 pathway, which you can help block with a Mediterranean-ketogenic diet.

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Nicholas Norwitz
MD-PhD candidate at Oxford University

Nicholas Notwitz

Nicholas Norwitz is a Harvard medical student and Oxford PhD researcher who specializes in ketone metabolism. He a rising star in the scientific community, with peer-reviewed publications on topics ranging from brain health to bone health to heart health to gut health.

Informed by his own medical history, he has an infectious passion for food as medicine and a drive to find innovative ways to teach the general public about the latest nutrition science.

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This article was written by Nicholas Norwitz who is a qualified expert. At KetoDiet we work with a team of health professionals to ensure accurate and up-to-date information. You can find out more on the About us page.

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Comments (4)

Very interested in this topic in the Keto App Blog.  
Alzheimers disease and inflammation, by Nicholas Norwitz  Oxford PHD etc etc , it is IMPERATIVE that  the reference and/or a link to his prestigious article in Nature be provided, in order that this topic can be reviewed.
I know it sounds nerdy, but for me and other highly educated PHD candidates it is important that this reference, and/ or  be provided
Thank you Sally

Reply

It's there. Click on the "(1)" in the first line of the above.

Reply

Very good article. I would like to know your opinion on the 2 weeks diet.
Thank you!

Reply

Andrea, could you please give more details on what the two weeks diet is? Neither I nor Martina have ever heard of it.

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