Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Amyloid Beta Protein Gets Bum Rap

Date:
November 10, 2009
Source:
Saint Louis University
Summary:
While too much amyloid beta protein in the brain is linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease, not enough of the protein in healthy brains can cause learning problems and forgetfulness, scientists have found.

While too much amyloid beta protein in the brain is linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease, not enough of the protein in healthy brains can cause learning problems and forgetfulness, Saint Louis University scientists have found.

The finding could lead to better medications to treat Alzheimer's disease, said John Morley, M.D., director of the division of geriatrics at Saint Louis University and the lead researcher on the study.

"This research is very exciting because it causes us to look at amyloid beta protein in a different way," Morley said.

"After 20 years of research, what we found goes totally against long-standing beliefs about amyloid beta protein. Our results indicate that amyloid beta protein itself isn't the bad guy. The right amount of amyloid beta protein happens to be very important for memory and learning in those who are healthy."

Researchers found that young, healthy mice that received low doses of amyloid beta protein showed improvement in recognizing objects and successfully navigating through a maze. Conversely, mice that received a drug that blocked amyloid beta protein had learning impairment.

"You can't totally wipe out amyloid beta protein. If you do this, you are going to create dementia," Morley said. "In treating Alzheimer's disease, we have to be careful not to lower amyloid beta too much because it will cause as many problems as if you had an excess of amyloid beta protein."

In short, Alzheimer's disease is connected to too much of a good thing. The right amount of amyloid beta in healthy brains actually enhances learning and memory rather than impairs it.

"Excess production of amyloid beta results in memory deficits," Morley said. "Overall, we believe these studies strongly suggest that the physiological role of amyloid beta is to enhance learning and memory.

These findings are important in understanding the optimal design of drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease."

The research, conducted in an animal model, is published in electronic edition of the Sept. 11 edition of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Saint Louis University. "Amyloid Beta Protein Gets Bum Rap." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109194747.htm>.
Saint Louis University. (2009, November 10). Amyloid Beta Protein Gets Bum Rap. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109194747.htm
Saint Louis University. "Amyloid Beta Protein Gets Bum Rap." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091109194747.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) 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:
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