Breaking News
May 3, 2019 - Vaping and Smoking May Signal Greater Motivation to Quit
May 3, 2019 - Dementia looks different in brains of Hispanics
May 3, 2019 - Short-Staffed Nursing Homes See Drop In Medicare Ratings
May 3, 2019 - Study of teens with eating disorders explores how substance users differ from non-substance users
May 3, 2019 - Scientists develop new video game that may help in the study of Alzheimer’s
May 3, 2019 - Arc Bio introduces Galileo Pathogen Solution product line at ASM Clinical Virology Symposium
May 3, 2019 - Cornell University study uncovers relationship between starch digestion gene and gut bacteria
May 3, 2019 - How to Safely Use Glucose Meters and Test Strips for Diabetes
May 3, 2019 - Anti-inflammatory drugs ineffective for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
May 3, 2019 - Study tracks Pennsylvania’s oil and gas waste-disposal practices
May 3, 2019 - Creating a better radiation diagnostic test for astronauts
May 3, 2019 - Vegans are often deficient in these four nutrients
May 3, 2019 - PPDC announces seed grants to develop medical devices for children
May 3, 2019 - Study maps out the frequency and impact of water polo head injuries
May 3, 2019 - Research on Reddit identifies risks associated with unproven treatments for opioid addiction
May 3, 2019 - Good smells may help ease tobacco cravings
May 3, 2019 - Medical financial hardship found to be very common among people in the United States
May 3, 2019 - Researchers develop multimodal system for personalized post-stroke rehabilitation
May 3, 2019 - Study shows significant mortality benefit with CABG over percutaneous coronary intervention
May 3, 2019 - Will gene-editing of human embryos ever be justifiable?
May 3, 2019 - FDA Approves Dengvaxia (dengue vaccine) for the Prevention of Dengue Disease in Endemic Regions
May 3, 2019 - Why Tonsillitis Keeps Coming Back
May 3, 2019 - Fighting the opioid epidemic with data
May 3, 2019 - Maggot sausages may soon be a reality
May 3, 2019 - Deletion of ATDC gene prevents development of pancreatic cancer in mice
May 2, 2019 - Targeted Therapy Promising for Rare Hematologic Cancer
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease is a ‘double-prion disorder,’ study shows
May 2, 2019 - Reservoir bugs: How one bacterial menace makes its home in the human stomach
May 2, 2019 - Clinical, Admin Staff From Cardiology Get Sneak Peek at Epic
May 2, 2019 - Depression increases hospital use and mortality in children
May 2, 2019 - Vicon and NOC support CURE International to create first gait lab in Ethiopia
May 2, 2019 - Researchers use 3D printer to make paper organs
May 2, 2019 - Viral infection in utero associated with behavioral abnormalities in offspring
May 2, 2019 - U.S. Teen Opioid Deaths Soaring
May 2, 2019 - Opioid distribution data should be public
May 2, 2019 - In the Spotlight: “I’m learning every single day”
May 2, 2019 - 2019 Schaefer Scholars Announced
May 2, 2019 - Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Bye-Bye, ACA, And Hello ‘Medicare-For-All’?
May 2, 2019 - Study describes new viral molecular evasion mechanism used by cytomegalovirus
May 2, 2019 - SLU study suggests a more equitable way for Medicare reimbursement
May 2, 2019 - Scientists discover first gene involved in lower urinary tract obstruction
May 2, 2019 - Researchers identify 34 genes associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer
May 2, 2019 - Many low-income infants receive formula in the first few days of life, finds study
May 2, 2019 - Global study finds high success rate for hip and knee replacements
May 2, 2019 - Taking depression seriously: What is it?
May 2, 2019 - With Head Injuries Mounting, Will Cities Put Their Feet Down On E-Scooters?
May 2, 2019 - Scientists develop small fluorophores for tracking metabolites in living cells
May 2, 2019 - Study casts new light into how mothers’ and babies’ genes influence birth weight
May 2, 2019 - Researchers uncover new brain mechanisms regulating body weight
May 2, 2019 - Organ-on-chip systems offered to Asia-Pacific regions by Sydney’s AXT
May 2, 2019 - Adoption of new rules drops readmission penalties against safety net hospitals
May 2, 2019 - Kids and teens who consume zero-calorie sweetened beverages do not save calories
May 2, 2019 - Improved procedure for cancer-related erectile dysfunction
May 2, 2019 - Hormone may improve social behavior in autism
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by infectious proteins called prions
May 2, 2019 - Even Doctors Can’t Navigate Our ‘Broken Health Care System’
May 2, 2019 - Study looks at the impact on criminal persistence of head injuries
May 2, 2019 - Honey ‘as high in sugars as table sugar’
May 2, 2019 - Innovations to U.S. food system could help consumers in choosing healthy foods
May 2, 2019 - FDA Approves Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) as First Treatment for All Genotypes of Hepatitis C in Pediatric Patients
May 2, 2019 - Women underreport prevalence and intensity of their own snoring
May 2, 2019 - Concussion summit focuses on science behind brain injury
May 2, 2019 - Booker’s Argument For Environmental Justice Stays Within The Lines
May 2, 2019 - Cornell research explains increased metastatic cancer risk in diabetics
May 2, 2019 - Mount Sinai study provides fresh insights into cellular pathways that cause cancer
May 2, 2019 - Researchers to study link between prenatal pesticide exposures and childhood ADHD
May 2, 2019 - CoGEN Congress 2019: Speakers’ overviews
May 2, 2019 - A new strategy for managing diabetic macular edema in people with good vision
May 2, 2019 - Sagent Pharmaceuticals Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Ketorolac Tromethamine Injection, USP, 60mg/2mL (30mg per mL) Due to Lack of Sterility Assurance
May 2, 2019 - Screen time associated with behavioral problems in preschoolers
May 2, 2019 - Hormone reduces social impairment in kids with autism | News Center
May 2, 2019 - Researchers synthesize peroxidase-mimicking nanozyme with low cost and superior catalytic activity
May 2, 2019 - Study results of a potential drug to treat Type 2 diabetes in children announced
May 2, 2019 - Multigene test helps doctors to make effective treatment decisions for breast cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - UNC School of Medicine initiative providing unique care to dementia patients
May 2, 2019 - Nestlé Health Science and VHP join forces to launch innovative COPES program for cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - Study examines how our brain generates consciousness and loses it during anesthesia
May 2, 2019 - Transition Support Program May Aid Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes
May 2, 2019 - Study shows how neutrophils exacerbate atherosclerosis by inducing smooth muscle-cell death
May 2, 2019 - Research reveals complexity of how we make decisions
Organ-on-a-chip model helps explore underlying pathways shared by stroke and dementia

Organ-on-a-chip model helps explore underlying pathways shared by stroke and dementia

Stroke is the second main cause of death globally, and a major cause of disability. Around 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke each year, and rates are climbing, with the number of strokes in Europe set to increase by 1.5 million per year by 2025 – due in large part to the aging population. Meanwhile, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and is rapidly developing into the most costly disorder in the EU, negatively impacting the life and well-being not only of the patients but also the relatives and society at large.

It is well established that stroke and Alzheimer’s disease often occur together and can develop in parallel. Within a decade of experiencing a stroke, a quarter of patients develop dementia – most commonly, Alzheimer’s.

Similarly, patients with Alzheimer’s often exhibit high-risk factors for stroke. But with the underlying molecular mechanisms behind the development of both diseases unclear, there is an urgent need to better understand their common causes.

To tackle this challenge, the EU-funded COSTREAM project has brought together a consortium of geneticists, epidemiologists, radiologists and neurologists in a huge undertaking, part of which involves studying data from 12 000 cases of stroke, 20 000 cases of Alzheimer’s, and 74 000 healthy people in conjunction with 25 years of follow-up research. The researchers hope that their work will revolutionize drug development for these widespread and devastating diseases.

‘Our ultimate aim is to understand what causes stroke and Alzheimer’s disease and discover the genetic, metabolic and environmental pathways that are common to both,’ explains project coordinator Cornelia van Duijn of Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands. ‘The mission of COSTREAM is to develop targeted and precise early treatment and preventive strategies.’


With work under way since 2015, members in the consortium have combined their vast expertise on the genetics of both stroke and Alzheimer’s and used the data available world-wide to make a comprehensive atlas of the genes driving the disorders. These include those directly related to the diseases themselves or indirectly through established factors such as dysfunction in lipid or immune pathways.

The team has also looked into identifying new biological pointers for stroke and Alzheimer’s using state-of-the-art metabolomics (the large-scale study of small molecules or metabolites). Data collection has already revealed metabolites that are determining both disorders. The plan is to link these metabolites to genetic and environmental factors already observed in the groups being studied and validate biomarkers from blood in relation to the current understanding of the diseases using modern brain-imaging techniques.

In parallel, the team is working on an ‘organ-on-a-chip’ lab model that can replicate the blood-brain barrier – the place where blood vessels connect to brain cells – on a tiny scale. This model is helping to characterize and validate the underlying pathways shared by the two diseases and could revolutionize the development of new therapies against them by allowing quick, efficient testing.

These developments will allow COSTREAM to develop a ‘prediction toolbox for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease’ which can then be used to direct possible therapies and approaches for monitoring disease progression that can be tested in the organ-on-a-chip model.

In the future, it is likely that stroke patients will give a blood sample and undergo a brain scan that will identify their risk of developing dementia.

Bigger than big data

Now halfway through the project, the COSTREAM team has successfully integrated the data generated by the epidemiological and clinical follow-up studies to determine the overlap in the genetic and metabolic drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

‘The main challenges are to capture the interplay between genetic and environmental risk factors – we need bigger than “big data” to do this,’ says van Duijn.

This is an ambitious project, with many barriers still to be overcome but work is on track and this team is positive they can make it happen.


Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles