A team of researchers at Scripps Research Institute explored how women get Alzheimer’s disease (AD) more than men. The study is published in the journal Science Advances.
In order to understand why women get Alzheimer’s disease more than men, the researchers used novel methods for detecting S-nitrosylation to quantify modified proteins in 40 postmortem human brains. Half of the brains were from people who had died of AD and the other half were from people who hadn’t.
The results provided insights into why women are more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease when compared to men. The protein levels of S-nitrosylated C3 (SNO-C3) are particularly high in female brains, thereby increasing the risk for Alzheimer’s disease in women.
One of the lead authors, Stuart Lipton, elaborated: “Our new findings suggest that chemical modification of a component of the complement system helps drive Alzheimer’s, and may explain, at least in part, why the disease predominantly affects women.”
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Yang, H., Oh, C. K., Amal, H., Wishnok, J. S., Lewis, S., Schahrer, E., Trudler, D., Nakamura, T., Tannenbaum, S. R., & Lipton, S. A. (2022). Mechanistic insight into female predominance in Alzheimer’s disease based on aberrant protein S-nitrosylation of C3. Science advances, 8(50), eade0764. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.ade0764