Breaking News
November 15, 2018 - CityU develops first microarrayed 3D neuronal culture platform
November 15, 2018 - Expert suggests ways to control uncomfortable vaginal symptoms in diabetic women
November 15, 2018 - New edition of Red Journal focuses on roles of imaging in radiation oncology
November 15, 2018 - Doctors Aren’t Promoting Breastfeeding’s Cancer-Protection Benefit
November 15, 2018 - Technique to ‘listen’ to a patient’s brain during tumour surgery
November 15, 2018 - Seven-year-old returns to life as a “normal, healthy child” following bone marrow transplant
November 15, 2018 - AMSBIO expands range of high quality FFPE cancer cell line controls
November 15, 2018 - Exploring NMR Spectroscopy Applications through Interesting Infographics
November 15, 2018 - Chapman University wins additional $2.9 million NIH grant to study Alzheimer’s disease
November 15, 2018 - Microgel powder reduces infection and promotes healing
November 15, 2018 - Suicidal patients with prescribed access to psychotropic drugs should be closely monitored
November 15, 2018 - Nitric oxide-releasing technology shows potential to reduce healing time of diabetic foot ulcers
November 15, 2018 - Mass shootings may trigger unnecessary blood donations
November 15, 2018 - From heart disease to cancer: New study tracks shift of county death rates
November 15, 2018 - Preventing falls with new sensor technology
November 15, 2018 - Promising technology could improve detection, diagnosis of fatal ovarian cancer
November 15, 2018 - AAP updates concussion recommendations for children and teens
November 15, 2018 - Two genomic tests help identify most effective treatment for breast cancer patients
November 15, 2018 - Researchers evaluate efficacy of salivary biomarkers for early detection of oral cancer
November 15, 2018 - NIH awards $3.5 million to continue development of robotic system for treating brain tumors
November 15, 2018 - Researchers succeed in building protein nanotubes from tiny scaffolds
November 15, 2018 - Rectal bleeding
November 15, 2018 - Nasal delivery of weight-loss hormone eases breathing problems in sleeping mice
November 15, 2018 - $9.6 million grant to fund research on vascular risk factors for brain aging, dementia | News Center
November 15, 2018 - Gum disease linked with diabetes
November 15, 2018 - Study identifies unique functional brain networks associated with ASD behaviors in infancy
November 15, 2018 - EU and industry-funded project aims to personalize diabetes treatment
November 15, 2018 - NIH researchers shed light on causes of HBV-associated acute liver failure
November 14, 2018 - FDA Alert: Implanted Pumps: Safety Communication
November 14, 2018 - Weight loss & acute Porphyria
November 14, 2018 - Researchers identify three sub-types of depression
November 14, 2018 - The puzzle of a mutated gene lurking behind many Parkinson’s cases | News Center
November 14, 2018 - The mystery viruses far worse than flu
November 14, 2018 - Research highlights physical changes in the brain of self-injuring teen girls
November 14, 2018 - Speed and error rate of DNA synthesis influenced by DNA structure
November 14, 2018 - Cranberry consumption modifies impact of animal-based diet on gut health
November 14, 2018 - £500,000 grant could pave way for new antibiotic to battle against drug-resistant superbugs
November 14, 2018 - Trump Administration Finalizes Birth Control Coverage Opt-Out
November 14, 2018 - Modern life offers children almost everything they need, except daylight
November 14, 2018 - Getting better: A patient is more than a collection of numbers
November 14, 2018 - 20 Americans Die Each Day Waiting For Organs
November 14, 2018 - First bifacial molecule can invade double-stranded DNA or RNA
November 14, 2018 - Study finds lack of safety data for using flowers in cooking
November 14, 2018 - Statistical methods play key role in predicting efficacy of new drugs
November 14, 2018 - Research explores how exercise may help fight drug addiction
November 14, 2018 - Health Tip: Limit Fat, Sugar and Salt in Your Child’s Diet
November 14, 2018 - CA 19-9 Blood Test (Pancreatic Cancer): MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 14, 2018 - Old drug could have new use helping sick premature babies
November 14, 2018 - Surgery, not antibiotics, should remain first-line treatment for appendicitis | News Center
November 14, 2018 - Researchers to develop sports-specific classification system for blind football
November 14, 2018 - Preschool children show awake responses to naptime nonsense words
November 14, 2018 - Researchers develop innovative treatment to repair damaged brain tissues
November 14, 2018 - Survey shows negative effect of vulvovaginal atrophy symptoms on quality of life for women
November 14, 2018 - Study sheds light on mechanisms that prevent autoimmune attack
November 14, 2018 - Sleep quality found to be worse for women who undergo surgical menopause
November 14, 2018 - One-hour cognitive behavioral therapy session reduces insomnia symptoms in prisoners
November 14, 2018 - New study provides deeper insight into chromosome segregation during mitosis
November 14, 2018 - Surgical menopause leads to more disrupted sleep than natural menopause
November 14, 2018 - Inhibition of one protein clears toxic clumps seen in Parkinson’s disease, study finds
November 14, 2018 - Appendix removal is linked to lower risk of Parkinson’s
November 14, 2018 - Lifting weights for less than an hour a week may reduce cardiovascular disease risk
November 14, 2018 - Pulmonary rehabilitation rarely received by hospitalized COPD patients despite health benefits
November 14, 2018 - New anti-HER2 drug shows promising anti-tumor activity in gullet, stomach and bowel cancers
November 14, 2018 - Regular head circumference assessment of preterm babies can help identify long-term IQ problems
November 14, 2018 - Brigham investigators examine opioid use among Massachusetts adolescents, prescription trends
November 14, 2018 - Study defines biomarker in response to treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer
November 14, 2018 - Study identifies potential therapeutic strategy for patients with clear cell renal cancer
November 14, 2018 - Bausch Health Announces U.S. Launch of Bryhali (halobetasol propionate) Lotion, 0.01%, for Plaque Psoriasis In Adults
November 14, 2018 - Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP) Tumor Marker Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 14, 2018 - Researchers evaluate controversial treatment for Parkinson’s disease psychosis
November 14, 2018 - AI could help veterinarians code their notes
November 14, 2018 - Pre-schoolers with autism thrive in mainstream classroom settings
November 14, 2018 - Individual and work-related factors may help promote hospital physician engagement, finds study
November 14, 2018 - Complementary and alternative medicine is widely used by general population in England
November 14, 2018 - Study reveals link between tobacco availability and smoking during pregnancy
November 14, 2018 - Purdue researchers develop translucent base for silicon patches to deliver exact doses of biomolecules
November 14, 2018 - New technology based on moths and magnets could help treat genetic diseases
November 14, 2018 - Concussion-Related Biomarkers Vary Based on Sex, Race
November 14, 2018 - One more year of high school may shape waistlines later in life
November 14, 2018 - Dissecting high drug costs – Scope
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

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

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