• 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference: Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older AdultsJoin us at the 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference:
    Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older Adults

    April 14-18, 2020, Honolulu, HI.

    Earn up to 18 CNE hours.

     

    Find out more about it and REGISTER today!

  • 2019 Senior Report Senior Report: Older Americans have more options for home care, but still struggling.

    The United Health Foundation has released results of a sweeping new study benchmarking the health of older adults. The America's Health Rankings® Senior Report was created in partnership with GAPNA to improve the health of America's seniors.

    The data will help advanced practice nurses and other providers deliver quality care.

    Find out about it!

  • AwardNew for GAPNA members: MCM Education

    GAPNA has partnered with a MCM Education to offer an ongoing series of CNE programs available to GAPNA members. "Diagnosing and Managing Parkinson’s Disease in Older Adults," is the latest program offered.

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by both motor and nonmotor symptoms. It is diagnosed based on the presence of two of four motor symptoms including rest tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and gait imbalance...

    Find out about it!

  • FREE continuing education credit is available for the following session:

    "Dementia Management Update"

    (session captured at the GAPNA 2018 Annual Conference)


    For September/October 2019 - Get Your Free CNE Now!

RNA Splicing

Abnormal RNA Splicing in the Aging Brain May Play a Role in Alzheimer’s Disease

Scientists have long sought to describe and explain the complex molecular events in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s disease and the mechanisms by which genetic risk factors exert their effect.

A new National Institute on Aging (NIA)-funded study finds that changes in a process called RNA splicing interact with specific Alzheimer’s genes and may contribute to functional deficits in the Alzheimer’s brain. The study, published in the November 2018 issue of Nature Genetics, provides new insights into the molecular process behind the disease.

RNA, or ribonucleic acid, is a molecule that carries instructions from DNA for creating proteins in the body. Before RNA messages are translated into proteins, certain segments must be edited out, a process known as RNA splicing. Each particular RNA can give rise to many possible outcomes, known as “alternative splicing,” a normal occurrence in the brain and other organs.

A team led by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Columbia University, New York, studied brain tissue from more than 450 deceased older people in two NIH-funded studies – the Religious Orders Study and the Memory and Aging Project – to create a genome-wide map of splicing variations in the aging prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain involved in executive functions, such as planning and setting goals.

Analysis of the RNA sequence data, made available through the NIA-supported AMP-AD Knowledge Portal, showed that Alzheimer’s brains contained many more alternatively spliced RNA messages than non-Alzheimer’s brains. Those altered splicing events corresponded to 84 genes, including a number of newly discovered risk-factor genes for Alzheimer’s disease.

For variants of three known Alzheimer’s genes – CLU, PICALM, and PTK2B – the findings may help explain how they exert their effects in the brain. The study also examined how newly identified genes associated with Alzheimer’s connect to known risk genes. It found that many are part of molecular networks associated with the breakdown and clearance of both normal and toxic proteins.

The findings suggest that altered mRNA splicing in the brain is a feature of Alzheimer's disease that is, in some instances, genetically driven.

For more info, see Raj, T. et al. (2018). Integrative transcriptome analyses of the aging brain implicate altered splicing in Alzheimer’s disease susceptibility. Nature Genetics, 50(11), 1584-1592.

Related Topic 1: 

GAPNA Newsletter Issue: 

VIEW ALL ARTICLES: