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Scientists Gain New Understanding of Alzheimer's Trigger
Myriam
Posted: Friday, May 4, 2012 5:08 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


From Alzheimer's Daily News:


(Source: UVA Today) - A highly toxic beta-amyloid has been found to greatly increase the toxicity of other more common and less toxic beta-amyloids, serving as a possible "trigger" for the advent and development of Alzheimer's, researchers at the University of Virginia and German biotech company Probiodrug have discovered.


Go to full story: http://www.virginia.edu

The finding could lead to more effective treatments for Alzheimer's disease. Phase 1 clinical trials have already been completed in Europe with a small molecule that inhibits an enzyme that catalyzes the formation of this hypertoxic version of beta-amyloid.

 

"This form of beta-amyloid, called pyroglutamylated (pyroglu) beta-amyloid, is a real bad guy in Alzheimer's disease," said George Bloom. "We've confirmed that it converts more abundant beta-amyloids into a form that is up to 100 times more toxic, making this a very dangerous killer of brain cells and an attractive target for drug therapy."

 

Bloom explained that the process is similar to various prion diseases, such as mad cow disease or chronic wasting disease, where a toxic protein can "infect" normal proteins that spread through the brain and ultimately destroy it.

"You might think of this pyroglu beta-amyloid as a seed that can further contaminate something that's already bad into something much worse - it's the trigger," Bloom said. Just as importantly, the hypertoxic mixtures that are seeded by pyroglu beta-amyloid exist as small aggregates, called oligomers, rather than as much larger fibers found in the amyloid plaques that are a signature feature of the Alzheimer's brain.

 

Bloom and his collaborators are now looking for other proteins that are needed for pyroglu beta-amyloid to become toxic. Any such proteins they discover are potential targets for the early diagnosis and/or treatment of Alzheimer's disease.


John1943
Posted: Monday, May 7, 2012 3:44 PM
Joined: 4/18/2012
Posts: 21


Very intriqueing.  Noticed that this was a mouse study. Those have disappointed us before.  I hope that the human clinical trial will confirm these findings.

 

John


Iris L.
Posted: Monday, May 7, 2012 9:30 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16606


Are you different from John 1963? 

 

Iris L. 


John1943
Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 1:54 PM
Joined: 4/18/2012
Posts: 21


I have always been John1943, Myriam.  It's the year I was born.

 

John