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Proceedings Paper

Abnormal tryptophan metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease (ALZ): label-free spectroscopy suggests an alternative theory of ALZ causation
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Paper Abstract

The leading hypothesis regarding ALZ causation is that it is related to abnormal aggregation of β-amyloid and tau in the brain. It is known that, under stress conditions, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase shifts tryptophan metabolism away from the serotonin pathway towards the kynurenine pathway. Using label-free spectroscopy of tryptophan, N-formylL-kynurenine, kynurenine and kynurenic acid in ALZ and age-matched controls, we showed that a reversal of normal tryptophan/kynurenine ratio occurs in heavily affected ALZ areas (hippocampus, Brodmann’s Area 9), but not in minimally-affected areas such as Brodmann’s Area 17. Since ALZ develops only in areas of the brain where excess kynurenines are produced, it is possible ALZ is caused by abnormal tryptophan metabolism rather than protein aggregation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 February 2020
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 11234, Optical Biopsy XVIII: Toward Real-Time Spectroscopic Imaging and Diagnosis, 112341P (21 February 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2550309
Show Author Affiliations
Laura A. Sordillo, The City College of New York (United States)
Peter P. Sordillo M.D., The City College of New York (United States)
Robert R. Alfano, The City College of New York (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11234:
Optical Biopsy XVIII: Toward Real-Time Spectroscopic Imaging and Diagnosis
Robert R. Alfano; Stavros G. Demos; Angela B. Seddon, Editor(s)

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