Health Life

Projecting early molecular signatures of AD through the convergence study of omics and AI

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

The Korea Brain Research Institute (headed by Suh Pann-ghill) announced on July 24 the discovery that an increase in amyloid-beta in the brain alters cholesterol biosynthesis, which was found by Dr. Cheon Mookyung of KBRI through RNA-seq analysis data (omics) using AI.

The research results were published in PLOS Computational Biology, an international academic journal in the field of computational biology.

Amyloid-beta is known as a protein that causes Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In a normal brain, if it accumulates excessively, it is removed by microglia, etc. Cholesterol must also be kept at a certain level within the blood to compose the cell membrane, adjust fluidity in the membrane, and maintain homeostasis. If the abovementioned processes are not carried out properly, pathological abnormalities occur in the body.

The research team analyzed the cerebral cortex tissue data of AD mouse models using the cutting-edge deep learning technique of generative adversarial networks (GANs). A GAN is an algorithm that generates data through competition between a generator and discriminator, studies the generated data, and creates synthetic data close to real images. The GANs technique was used to create the fake speech video of President Barack Obama and can be applied to continuous face aging.

Projecting early molecular signatures of AD through the convergence study of Omics and AI
Overview of the application of the GANs to bulk RNA-seq data. Credit: Korea Brain Research Institute

The research team performed an AD genetic expression simulation in mice using GANs and observed the changing process of gene expression from normal to AD state. As a result, it was discovered that increases and alters in the early stages of the disease. This discovery was also confirmed by the RNA-seq analysis of postmortem brain tissue.

This means that the increase in amyloid-beta triggers cholesterol biosynthesis and that the two processes in combination are likely to

Health article

How concussions affect kids and teens

Christina Master, M.D.

Concussions among professional athletes have been covered widely in the media. But Christina Master, M.D., co-director of the concussion program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, thinks more attention should be paid to brain injuries in children and teens.

The latest figures show that each year in the U.S. about 283,000 children under the age of 18 visit the emergency room for recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussion. Injuries from playground activities and contact sports—especially football, soccer, and basketball—make up nearly half these visits.

Greater awareness of concussions at the pro athlete level “has certainly trickled down to the youth athlete level” and has sparked more research in recent years, Dr. Master says.

New research paths

Many of these new studies are changing our ideas about treatment and diagnosis, for example, how long a full recovery takes and the differences in concussion between girls and boys.

“The idea of sitting in a dark room after a concussion is probably going by the wayside.”

– Christina Master, M.D.

Dr. Master has worked on recent National Institutes of Health-funded studies that have looked at new, quicker, and more objective ways to diagnose concussion. These include simple balance tests in a doctor’s office and eye tracking tests that can tell if a brain injury happened.

Research also shows that one in six children between the ages of 5 and 15 who get a concussion will have another one within two years. A recent study of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia patients found that the risk of repeat injury was highest among the oldest kids.

Rethinking recovery

Research suggests that kids who have suffered a concussion may need more help at school and with sports as they recover. But light exercise, such as walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike, could