Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better understanding of the cause of Alzheimer's disease

Date:
December 14, 2012
Source:
University of Twente
Summary:
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting over 35 million people worldwide. It is generally assumed that the clumping of beta-amyloid protein causes neuronal loss in patients. Medication focuses on reducing beta-amyloid 42, one of the most common proteins and the most harmful. Researchers in the Netherlands are refining the current approach.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting over 35 million people worldwide. It is generally assumed that the clumping of beta-amyloid (Aß) protein causes neuronal loss in patients. Medication focuses on reducing Aß42, one of the most common proteins and the most harmful. University of Twente PhD student Annelies Vandersteen is refining the current approach.

She explains: "The results of my research provide a broader understanding of the processes that lead to Alzheimer's disease and in this way may help to bring about new medication."

The Aß protein occurs in the body in various lengths, ranging from 33 to 49 amino acids. The shorter varieties are regarded as 'safe', unlike the longer ones -- Aß42 and longer -- which are highly aggregating. Current therapeutic strategy tries to reduce the clumping of Aß42, and its harmful effects, by limiting the release of Aß42. Reducing Aß42 production at the same time results in a rise in Aß38 levels.

Vandersteen comments: "One of the findings of my research is that small amounts of Aß38 can in fact increase or temper the clumping and toxic effects of longer Aß proteins. The processes that result in Alzheimer's disease are determined by the whole spectrum of Aß proteins. So the picture is far less black and white than has been assumed so far, and less common forms of Aß are far less harmless than we thought."

The study

Vandersteen examined the protein mixtures in a laboratory situation. She devised a series of experiments based on a computer-calculated hypothesis. The behaviour of the various Aß proteins and mixtures was studied in detail and described using various biophysical techniques. The influence of the various Aß proteins and mixtures on neurons was then studied in a cell culture.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Twente. "Better understanding of the cause of Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121214091016.htm>.
University of Twente. (2012, December 14). Better understanding of the cause of Alzheimer's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121214091016.htm
University of Twente. "Better understanding of the cause of Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121214091016.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 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