February 10, 2011
Second Part of Alzheimer’s Toxic Two Identified
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Like two brothers wrestling fighting who need to be put in separate corners, a pair of protein molecules work together to speed up the toxic events of Alzheimer's disease. The second molecule was identified and could lead to novel drugs that slow or even prevent the disease.
Alzheimer's disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease marked by deterioration of nerve cells and eventual complete loss of cognitive functioning "“ thinking, memory, and reason. Many Alzheimer's patients have brain lesions called amyloid plaques, which consist of protein fragments called amyloid-beta. Small aggregates of amyloid-beta are thought to contribute prominently to the degeneration of brain cells in Alzheimer's.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia among older people, and estimates indicate that as many as 5.3 million Americans suffer from it. While several drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can temporarily slow worsening symptoms, no treatment is currently available to slow or stop the degeneration of nerve cells that lies at the root of the disease.
SOURCE: EMBO, published online February 4, 2011