Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza: children caught up in the conflict

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Was the UN chief’s speech in Tel Aviv really a 'shameful message'?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France concerned about anti-Semitism

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online movement demands peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple aims to satisfy China's hunger for smartphones

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin? (part two)

Read more

  • UN human rights chief blasts Israel-Gaza ‘war crimes’

    Read more

  • Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks kill ‘scores’ in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Paris braced for new pro-Palestinian rally after clashes

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • Kerry arrives in Israel to push for Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

Researchers zero in on Alzheimer's plaque origin

Latest update : 2008-04-09

Researchers have found a key ingredient, produced by a brain cell activity, for the formation of Alzheimer's plaques.

Researchers have found that a key ingredient for the formation of Alzheimer's plaques is produced by a brain cell activity, according to a study that helps understand the disease's origin.

The ability of brain cells to absorb substances from their surface, a process called endocytosis, is essential to producing amyloid beta, a protein fragment that clusters together to form Alzheimer's plaques, said the study released Wednesday.

The researchers found that by giving a drug that blocks endocytosis to a mouse with Alzheimer's disease, levels of amyloid beta sank by 70 percent, according to the study published in the journal Neuron.

But using the drug to treat Alzheimer's is not an option because brain cells need to be able to take in substances from the surface, said the neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

"Blocking endocytosis isn't a viable option for treatment because cells throughout the body, including brain cells, need endocytosis for healthy function," said the study's first author, John Cirrito, research instructor in neurology.

"But we are starting to understand the origins of amyloid beta in more detail now, and what we're learning is opening other options we can pursue to seek new treatments for Alzheimer's disease," he said.

The researchers believe the brain cells may be accidentally taking in amyloid precursor protein (APP), which breaks down into amyloid beta.

In that case, they said, a drug that reduces APP intake could help reduce production of amyloid beta.
 

Date created : 2008-04-09

COMMENT(S)