The hormonal agent FGF23 is linked to structural deficits in the brain
September 27, 2018, Medical University of South Carolina
Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have uncovered systems by which high levels of a hormonal agent called FGF23 can decrease brain health.
In results released in the journal PLoS ONE on September 7th, 2018, high levels of fibroblast growth element 23 (FGF23) were connected with structural modifications in the brain’s frontal lobes. High FGF23 levels are believed to result in the vascular calcification seen in patients with persistent kidney disease. The study showed that such a process might also affect the brain in clients without chronic kidney disease however with elevated cardiovascular danger elements, according to Leonardo Bonilha, M.D., Ph.D., associate teacher of neurology in the MUSC Department of Medication and director of the research study.
“We found that there is a relationship between high levels of FGF23 and a form of structural compromise in the brain,” said Bonilha.
FGF23 is produced in the bone. Normally, FGF23 works in the kidneys and the gut to control levels of calcium and phosphate in the body. It is believed to be increased in individuals who consume a diet high in phosphates, which are often found in foods with preservatives. In people with chronic kidney illness or in those who consume a diet high in phosphates, can be a calcification of their arteries, which can trigger cardiac arrest or stroke. FGF23 may be the factor.
Bonilha and graduate student Barbara Marebwa were interested in understanding if FGF23 might cause brain problems in individuals who had elevated cardiovascular danger aspects, such as hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol. The idea was to identify if a high FGF23 level, present in people who did not have chronic kidney disease, was a sign of problems in the brain.
Bonilha and Marebwa tested the concept that FGF23 and cardiovascular threat aspects put together were an indication of issues with communication in different parts of the brain. The researchers utilized magnetic resonance imaging to analyze the connectomes in clients’ brains, which was a way to see how different regions of their brains were connected. The approach allows researchers to examine the white matter of the brain, which is more susceptible to the type of stress that can take place when vessels end up being calcified.
The team looked at a function of the connectome called modularity, which can expose how well various parts of the brain are arranged. Individuals with unusually high modularity have greater levels of disconnection in the brain, which may show problems with brain health in those areas.
These results suggest that FGF23 is associated with problems with brain health in people who currently have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. As a result, elevated FGF23 levels might lead to structural damage in parts of the brain that may put people at a greater danger of stroke or issues with stroke recovery.
“It is necessary to comprehend the elements that associate with brain health, since brain health is connected with aging and durability to injury. For example, if you get a stroke and you already have jeopardized brain health, the stroke may be more serious and you might not recuperate as well,” described Bonilha.
The work became part of a strategically focused research study network (SFRN) grant moneyed by the American Heart Association to MUSC to analyze disparities in stroke recovery. Myles Wolf, holder of an SFRN grant in heart and kidney research study at Duke, contributed to the work. Together, the research team might have discovered a prospective disparity in stroke healing by highlighting vulnerability in the brains of patients with high FGF23 levels. For example, people without access to fresh foods may have high levels of FGF23 and thus an increased risk of stroke.
The next action, according to Bonilha, is to figure out if reducing FGF23 levels in clients with cardiovascular risk aspects can cause much better brain health or even to much better results following stroke. Previous operate in other laboratories has exposed that FGF23 levels rise in people with cardiovascular threat factors and who take in a diet high in phosphates. The new results build on this finding and highlight the importance of a healthy diet plan in safeguarding the brain.
“This study is an important initial step to lead to methods to enhance dietary habits and improve brain health,” stated Bonilha.