Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Piece In Alzheimer's Puzzle

Date:
February 27, 2009
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Researchers have filled in a missing gap on the molecular road map of Alzheimer's disease. They report that cellular prion proteins trigger the process by which amyloid-beta peptides block brain function in Alzheimer's patients.

Yale researchers have filled in a missing gap on the molecular road map of Alzheimer's disease.

In the Feb. 26 issue of the journal Nature, the Yale team reports that cellular prion proteins trigger the process by which amyloid-beta peptides block brain function in Alzheimer's patients.

"It has been a black box," said Stephen M. Strittmatter, senior author of the study and the Vincent Coates Professor of Neurology and director of Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair at the Yale School of Medicine. "We have known that amyloid-beta is bad for the brain, but we have not known exactly how amyloid-beta does bad things to neurons."

After an extensive gene expression analysis, the first step in amyloid-beta damage appears to involve cellular prion proteins. These proteins are normally harmless and exist within all cells, but on rare occasions they change shape and cause notorious prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt- Jacob disease, or its well-known variant, mad cow disease.

When the Yale team searched hundreds of thousands of candidates for potential disease-mediating receptors for the specific amyloid-beta form known to play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease, the most likely candidate was cellular prion proteins. It seems that amyloid-beta peptides latch onto these cellular prion proteins and precipitate the damage in brain cells.

"They start the cascade that make neurons sick" said Strittmatter, a member of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience.

Since these cellular prion proteins act at an early stage of disease development, the receptors make a promising target for new Alzheimer's therapies, Strittmatter said.

The study does not suggest that the conversion of cellular prion proteins to an infectious agent occurs in Alzheimer's disease, Strittmatter noted. However, the Nature paper does suggest that the role of usually harmless cellular prion proteins in common neurodegenerative diseases should be studied more rigorously, he said.

Other members of the Yale team included Juha Lauren, David A. Gimbel, Haakon B. Nygaard, and John W. Gilbert.

This work was supported by research grants from the Falk Medical Research Trust and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "New Piece In Alzheimer's Puzzle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090225132233.htm>.
Yale University. (2009, February 27). New Piece In Alzheimer's Puzzle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090225132233.htm
Yale University. "New Piece In Alzheimer's Puzzle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090225132233.htm (accessed September 14, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Newsy (Sep. 10, 2014) Researchers found commonly prescribed sleeping and anxiety pills such as Xanax and Valium could lead to an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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