Sugar entering the brain during septic shock causes memory loss

ScienceDaily | 4/22/2019 | Staff
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"This sugar is getting into the hippocampus, and it shouldn't be in there," said Robert Linhardt, professor of biocatalysis and metabolic engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and lead author of the study. "We actually think this is rewiring memory in the hippocampus, and it's causing memory loss. Neural circuits are being disrupted or broken or connected in the wrong way."

The study is the latest outcome of a six-year partnership between Linhardt and Dr. Eric Schmidt, an expert on sepsis and assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at University of Colorado Denver.

Sepsis - Infection - Body - One-third - Patients

Sepsis is a systemic infection of the body. One-third of patients admitted to hospitals with sepsis go into septic shock. Of those, half will die. In a 2016 study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, a team that included Schmidt and Linhardt developed a simple but accurate test for determining whether patients in septic shock would recover or die.

The test uses a urine sample to check concentrations of a type of sugar -- glycosaminoglycans -- that ordinarily coat cells lining blood vessels and other surfaces inside the body. In septic shock, the body sheds fragments of these sugars, and the team found that higher concentrations portend death. The test is used in clinical settings, and the insight has helped doctors search for more effective therapies.

Step - Link - Sugars - Aging - Shock

Their next step tested whether a link exists between the sugars and mental aging associated with septic shock. Research published in the February edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigations showed that, during septic shock, fragments of the sugar heparan sulfate crossed the blood-brain barrier and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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