A paper recently published in Biomedicines, has revealed the existence of four potential common biomarkers that could play a relevant role in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD).

The research work published by Dr. Andújar-Vera and collaborators, belonging to the research group led by Dr. Manuel Muñoz Torres, group leader of the Frailty and Healthy Aging area of the CIBER (CIBERFES), has been developed in the Biosanitary Research Institute of Granada (ibs.GRANADA) and the San Cecilio Clinical University Hospital in collaboration with the University of Granada. The team has focused on identifying new factors involved in the CVD/AD axis to delve into the common molecular pathways in the development of both diseases.

This work, which includes bioinformatic studies, as well as validation of calcified vascular tissue samples from diabetic patients affected by CVD, has identified Apolipoprotein E, Clusterin, Haptoglobin and Alpha-2-Macroglobulin as potential common biomarkers.

Supporting these findings, there are several studies that have found a common link between the development of these diseases at the genetic and therapeutic levels. In the therapeutic context, it has been observed that the use of various oral anticoagulants can have a beneficial effect for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. All this highlights the existence of common molecular pathways in the development of both pathologies.

Aging, implicated in the development of diseases with a high incidence

Aging is one of the main factors involved in the development of different diseases, including AD and CVD, which includes coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and peripheral arterial disease.

Both diseases have a high incidence in the population. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, causing more than 17,5 million deaths worldwide each year. For its part, Alzheimer's is among the 50 leading causes of mortality in the period between 1990 and 2013 and represents approximately 50-75% of all cases of dementia. Currently, there are about 34 million people with Alzheimer's worldwide and the prevalence is expected to triple in the next 40 years due to demographic changes and increased life expectancy, which means that 1 in 85 people worldwide will be affected by this disease in 2050.

In this context, scientific evidence shows that, although aging is the most important risk factor for the development of these diseases, risk factors related to the cardiovascular system play a key role in cognitive disorders. In this line, it has been observed that obesity, one of the main cardiovascular risk factors, is associated with dementia. Similarly, a higher body mass index in middle age proportionally increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's.

On the other hand, brain alterations in patients with Alzheimer's are usually accompanied by vascular alterations, so that in more than 90% of the cases of patients a deterioration in the blood vessels is observed, generally developing cardiovascular complications, especially related to diastolic dysfunction of the heart.

The results obtained in this research work are highly relevant, representing new opportunities for addressing CVD and AD.

According to the CIBERFES researcher Beatriz García Fontana, "Although more studies are needed to delve into the role of these potential biomarkers, experimental evidence indicates that they could play a relevant role in the development of these disorders, so their validation opens the door to the design of diagnostic and therapeutic tools that improve the quality of life of patients.

In this sense, the researchers Beatriz and Cristina García Fontana indicate that, considering the high proportion of patients affected by cardiovascular disease, it would be of great interest to identify those with a higher risk of developing cognitive impairment in order to establish early preventive and therapeutic measures, and delay treatment. occurrence of neurological disorders. On the other hand, the study of cardiovascular risk in the population affected by Alzheimer's with the aim of preventing irreversible damage is of special interest.

Reference article:

Identification of Potential Targets Linked to the Cardiovascular/Alzheimer's Axis through Bioinformatics Approaches

Francisco Andújar-Vera, Cristina García-Fontana, Raquel Sanabria-de la Torre, Sheila González-Salvatierra, Luis Martínez-Heredia, Iván Iglesias-Baena, Manuel Muñoz-Torres, Beatriz García-Fontana DOI: 10.3390/biomedicines10020389

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