Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 321

New Study Reveals the Importance of Active-DHA in the Developing Brain

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 26 settembre 2018

Vanteres, an innovative biotech company leveraging its biomedical research expertise to develop actively transported lysophospholipids, announces new evidence that demonstrates the critical role of LPC-DHA in normal fetal and infant brain development. The new study, conducted by researchers at Duke-NUS, reveals Active-DHA transported by MFSD2a found at the blood brain barrier plays a physiological role in both brain growth and health during brain development. LPC-DHA or ‘Active-DHA’ is a natural form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that is attached to a lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC).“We’ve always known the brain is one of the most lipid-rich organs in the body, but until now, we never completely understood how the brain received DHA,” said Douglas Hicks, Chief Business Officer at Vanteres. “By understanding the importance of Active-DHA and its ability to be effectively transported to the brain, we’ve unleashed big possibilities for innovations to support our brain health.”The study, published in PLOS Biology, illustrates not only how the brain accumulates DHA as Active-DHA, but also provides a mechanistic understanding for its function in brain development. Researchers using MFSD2a-deficient mouse models have definitively proven that MFSD2a deficiency results in a unique form of postnatal microcephaly caused by a lack of DHA. Prior to this study, researchers identified four human families with mutations to the MFSD2a transporter, all of which have cases of severe microcephaly and intellectual disabilities. Although there is no clear-cut genetic evidence for the role of DHA in the brain, the correlation between these animal and human genetic studies prove that MFSD2a and Active-DHA are critical for proper brain development.“For the first time, we have evidence to prove LPC-DHA or Active-DHA controls crucial processes in the brain to regulate the growth of new membranes in neurons and other cell types after a baby is born when the brain is rapidly growing,” said lead researcher on the study and Duke-NUS professor Dr. David Silver. “Other forms of DHA are not able to enter the brain because of the blood-brain barrier that guards against the free flow of substances into this vital organ.”Vanteres leverages its proprietary knowledge of the MFSD2a transport and Active-DHA to develop clinical and nutritional products that could improve cognitive health due to low DHA levels in the brain. While the liver naturally transforms DHA into Active-DHA, it is usually not at sufficient levels. Vanteres’ applications of Active-DHA should lead to significantly higher levels of DHA reaching the brain, providing clinical benefits to help address neonatal and adult neurological diseases.

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