Previous studies in animal models have indicated that saturated fatty acids play a role in neurodegeneration. Yet in humans, more research is needed in order to confirm this suggestion. Here in the Yassine Lab, we have found interesting evidence that illustrates a correlation between various fatty acids with total tau and p-tau. This experiment was designed using two cohorts: a discovery group and a cohort of older non-demented individuals. Researchers analyzed the patients’ cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of sphingomyelins (SM) and phosphatidylcholine (PC)-containing fatty acids.
We associated those readings with the patients’ total tau and p-tau, finding interesting data. Figure 1 shows how only 4 lipid species were found in the confirmation cohort, but a significant 37 lipid species in the discovery group. In figures 3 and 4, we analyzed the CSF in both test groups and concluded a positive association between saturated phospholipids and p-tau. This data suggest that PC is associated with Alzheimer’s Dementia pathology via tau phosphorylation independent of amyloid biomarker status. The illustration in Figure 4 shows the various pathways that lead to the hyperphosphorylation of tau. It is important to further understand these processes because they give insight into what drives neurodegeneration.
To learn more, please find the publication at yassinelab.com/publication/