Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Possible Physical Origin Of Alzheimer's Disease

Date:
October 23, 2007
Source:
University of California
Summary:
For some time, scientists have blamed Alzheimer's disease on a small molecule called amyloid beta protein (A beta) that leaves large gummy deposits in the brain. Recent studies suggest that these A beta proteins stick together to form floating toxic clumps that kill brain cells. Now, scientists have identified a tiny loop in A beta as the likely culprit behind the adhesion process. The UCLA team discovered that gene mutations in A beta increase the loop's flexibility, enabling it to join easily with loops from other A beta proteins and form clumps. The loop also appears in the region of the protein that regulates how -- and how much -- A beta is made.

Amyloid Protein Loop. Broken red lines indicate a loop in the amyloid B-protein that enables it to attach to other proteins and form clumps that kill brain cells.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California

For some time, scientists have blamed Alzheimer's disease on a small molecule called amyloid beta protein (A beta) that leaves large gummy deposits in the brain.Recent studies suggest that theseA betaproteins stick together to form floating toxic clumps that kill brain cells. Now, UCLA scientists have identified a tiny loop in A betaas the likely culprit behind the adhesion process.

Related Articles


The UCLA team discovered that gene mutations in A beta increase the loop's flexibility, enabling it to join easily with loops from other A betaproteins and form clumps. The loop also appears in the region of the protein that regulates how — and how much — A betais made.

Current drugs treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's but not the disease's underlying cause. By shedding light on how toxic A betaformations arise in the brain, the UCLA discovery could aid the design of new drugs that both block the production of A betaand prevent it from clumping.

Alzheimer's disease afflicts some5 million Americans and an estimated 24 million people worldwide. Half of people over 85 may suffer from the fatal disorder, which slowly robsindividuals of their memory and ability to think and function independently.

The principal investigator is David Teplow, professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the findings in its Oct. 10 online early edition.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association supported the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California. "Possible Physical Origin Of Alzheimer's Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071022164228.htm>.
University of California. (2007, October 23). Possible Physical Origin Of Alzheimer's Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071022164228.htm
University of California. "Possible Physical Origin Of Alzheimer's Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071022164228.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins