Altered liver enzymes associated with Alzheimer’s biomarkers

Xianlin Han, Ph.D.

Xianlin Han, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Medicine and investigator with the Barshop and Biggs institutes, was among co-authors nationwide on a study of liver enzymes and Alzheimer’s disease released July 31 in JAMA NETWORK OPEN.

The article is titled “Association of Altered Liver Enzymes with Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis, Cognition, Neuroimaging Measures and Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers.” It follows previous research conducted in the family-based cohorts of the Framingham Heart Study that found an association between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and lower brain volume in healthy middle-aged adults. Sudha Seshadri, M.D., professor of neurology and director of the Biggs Institute, was the senior author of that study.

“My warm congratulations to Dr. Han, Dr. (Rima) Kaddurah-Daouk (of Duke University) and the team using metabolomic approaches to understand the biology of dementia in greater detail, and to Dr. (Suzana) Petanceska at the National Institute on Aging, who has supported and shaped this research,” Dr. Seshadri said. “These are exciting insights that could lead to novel prevention and treatment strategies.”

Dr. Seshadri continued: “Dr. Han has an outstanding record as a leader in dementia-related metabolomic research and leads the biomarker core at the Biggs Institute. We are honored to have him on our team. He is the principal investigator of a grant studying molecular mechanisms across animal models and humans. Prior papers from epidemiological studies such as the Framingham cohorts have shown an association of liver health with dementia risk. Collaborations between basic scientists and clinical and population scientists lie at the heart of what we do here at the Biggs Institute.”

Dr. Han, Methodist Hospital Foundation Chair in Aging Studies and Research at UT Health San Antonio, is a 2018 recipient of a $300,000 STARs award from The University of Texas System Board of Regents.

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