Research published in the journal Cell Metabolism supported the correlation between PHGDH levels, cognitive ability and dementia symptoms.
“The fact that this gene’s expression level directly correlates with both a person’s cognitive ability and disease pathology is remarkable,” Sheng Zhong, a professor of bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, told ASBMB Today. “Being able to quantify both of these complex metrics with a single molecular measurement could potentially make diagnosis and monitoring progression of Alzheimer’s disease much simpler.”
Some researches have pushed back against this theory, claiming that PHGDH expression is actually lower in Alzheimer’s disease patients — making serine supplements a useful tool for combating dementia symptoms. This latest research, however, supports the possibility that serine supplements are potentially pushing these patients in the wrong direction.
“Anyone looking to recommend or take serine to mitigate Alzheimer’s symptoms should exercise caution,” Riccardo Calandrelli, who is a research associate in Zhong’s lab, told ASBMB Today.
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