Alzheimer's disease, a complex neurological disorder, has as one of itshallmarks the presence of senile plaques in the brains of affectedindividuals. These senile plaques are rich in a toxic amyloid peptidetermed Aß. The mechanisms underlying the production ofAßare complex, but it is known that this peptide is derived from a largerprecursor known as the amyloid precursor protein (AßPP). Interestingly,and of potential therapeutic significance, AßPPcan be processed withinthe cell via different pathways, some of which preclude the formationof the toxic peptideAß.
Cellular stress has been associated with the disease and may impactupon AßPP processing and, consequently, toxic amyloid peptide termedAßproduction. University of Aveiro researchers, in their recent article'Cellular stress affects phosphorylation dependent AßPP processing' byA. G. Henriques et al, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease,Vol. 7, pp 201-212, addressed how the non-toxic amyloid precursorprotein (AßPP) processing was affected by cellular stress.
The research was carried out in the recently establishedNeuroscience Laboratory of the University of Aveiro, headed by Prof.Odete A. B. da Cruz e Silva. The University of Aveiro was created in1973 and is generally recognized as one of the most dynamicuniversities in Portugal, being a member of the European Consortium ofInnovative Universities. The university prides itself in the quality ofits research groups and, in addition to its traditional strength inareas such as Material Science, Signal Transduction, Environment andMarine Studies, Electronics and Telematics, Telecommunications andTelemedicine, it has recently promoted the development ofinternationally competitive research in Biomolecular and HealthSciences.
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