Red face after drinking alcohol is a sign of the high risk of Alzheimer's

Scientists from Stanford University (USA) found that the detection of a defective variant of the gene responsible for the processing of alcohol also indicates an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. It is a deficiency of the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) due to a genetic mutation in the ALDH2 gene (the defective version of the gene is designated as ALDH2*). As a result, toxic decomposition products of alcohol accumulate in the cell. 

This problem occurs in 8% of the inhabitants of the Earth, more often detected in East Asians. A sign of the presence of the "wrong gene" is redness of the face after drinking alcohol. Scientists from Stanford studied cell cultures of patients with Alzheimer's disease and revealed the presence of a defective gene ALDH2*. In these cells, a large number of free radicals were found.

The scientists explained that free radicals form toxic aldehydes, and ALDH2's function is to remove these toxic chemicals. Excessive accumulation of harmful substances leads to damage to the mitochondria, the structures on which the energy supply of the cell depends, which significantly increases the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease. 

The introduction of alcohol into the body of mice with a defective gene ALDH2 * led to the active formation of the main culprits in the development of Alzheimer's disease, beta-amyloid and Tau-protein, in brain cells. Also, neuroglia cells that protect and nourish neurons suffered, which is why the brain quickly developed degenerative processes and neuroinflammation.

Dec. 23, 2019, 11:27 a.m.

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