Hyderabad: Lead toxicity leading to Alzheimer’s disease has been established in a molecular model according to laboratory studies conducted by the Indian Council for Medical Research and the National Institute of Nutrition.
In-vitro studies have shown that the molecular mechanism of lead and the brain protein beta amyloid peptide induced toxicity, showing how lead content can induce Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers have found that the brain protein beta amyloid is the prime suspect for the destruction of cells. The protein accumulates in the brain forming a plaque that disrupts communication between brain cells, leading to their death. The excess protein found in the study and its co-relation with lead toxicity has been found in vulnerable groups.
It has now been confirmed that lead too is one of the reasons for the onset of the disease. Oxidative stress, inflammation, degeneration and neuronal cell death are also causes of the disease.
Dr Suresh Challa, senior scientist and lead researcher, said, “Our study investigated the basic molecular mechanism behind the involvement of lead in Alzheimer’s disease. We found that the exposure does cause harm and in the long run is one of the factors for neurodegenerative disease.”
Lead is commonly used in materials such as paints, cosmetics, batteries, glass and also low-grade toys.
“Maternal exposure to lead during pregnancy can cause developmental reprogramming which can lead to higher risk and early onset of Alzheimer’s disease in later life of the child. Since lead exposure is an important public health concern, the current findings could be another piece in solving the puzzle towards understanding the intracellular mechanism of Alzheimer’s disease. Such findings may help in developing preventive and management strategies for the elderly,” said Dr R. Hemalatha, director, ICMR-NIN.
According to the Neurological Society of India, 14.2 per cent of people in India suffer from Alzheimer’s disease....