On July 24, the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) held a session titled “Gut-Liver-Brain Axis in Alzheimer’s Disease” where researchers from the multi-institutional Alzheimer’s Disease Metabolomics Consortium presented research results confirming Dr. Goodenowe’s original research findings linking low blood plasmalogen levels with increased risk of dementia. Dr. Goodenowe published his original findings in a 2007 peer-reviewed research publication titled “Peripheral Ethanolamine Plasmalogen Deficiency: A Logical Causal Factor in Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia”. In addition to these original discoveries, Dr. Goodenowe subsequently developed and tested simplified blood plasmalogen indices in longitudinal patient cohorts and post-mortem pathology studies. These studies link blood plasmalogen deficiencies with a higher rate of cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology, and higher mortality in elderly subjects, as presented at AAIC 2016.
The new research findings were presented by Dr. Mitchel A. Kling, MD, an associate professor of Psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Kling presented results from two independent patient populations: the first study included 1,547 subjects that have Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or significant memory concerns (SMC), and subjects who were cognitively normal (CN) and who are enrolled in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative; the second included 112 subjects from the Penn Memory Center, including those with Alzheimer’s, MCI, and CN. Dr. Kling and the Metabolomics Consortium team members observed that lower values of Dr. Goodenowe’s indices were associated with a higher likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease. A similar pattern was seen with MCI and CN associations. Additionally, some of the decreased plasmalogen levels were correlated with increased levels of the tau protein in the brain, a marker of Alzheimer’s disease.
“This research shows that an age-related deficiency of plasmalogens could lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, because the liver cannot make enough of them,” said Dr. Kling. “Our findings provide renewed hope for the creation of new treatment and prevention approaches for Alzheimer’s disease.” Dr. Kling highlighted the importance of the research beyond just Alzheimer’s disease: “this research has a variety of interesting implications. For example, it highlights a potential relationship between conditions such as obesity and diabetes and Alzheimer’s–as the liver has to work harder to break down fatty acids over time. This could lead to the eventual destruction of the peroxisomes that create plasmalogens which thus, increases the risk of Alzheimer’s.”
Prodrome Sciences’ Dr. Goodenowe agrees that his plasmalogen indices are important in overall health and stated, “the results presented at AAIC further support our belief that most, if not all of the diseases associated with getting old are really complications arising from specific biochemical dysfunctions, called ‘prodromes’. It is also important to recognize that the plasmalogen deficiency reported here is a prodrome associated with overall neuronal degeneration and that complications arising from this overall neuronal weakening includes increased risk of not just dementia, but also stroke, Parkinson’s, and overall mortality. Effective disease prevention strategies begin with first identifying specific biochemical dysfunctions associated with disease such as these findings reported at AAIC. At Prodrome Sciences we are developing advanced diagnostic tools that deliver an accurate and thorough assessment of specific disease-causing biochemical abnormalities, or prodromes, and developing natural and safe bioprecursors that can be used in conjunction with our diagnostic tools such that optimal biochemical balances can be maintained throughout your lifespan. We believe that this is the true scientific method of disease prevention, increased longevity, and vitality.”
Dr. Dayan Goodenowe, Founder of Prodrome Sciences, is an expert on the biochemical basis of neurological diseases. After obtaining his PhD in Psychiatry and Neurochemistry in 1993, Dr. Goodenowe has dedicated his professional career to advancing biochemical research and the understanding of neurological diseases.