Protein Responsible for Memory Loss in Alzheimer's disease

by Medindia Content Team on  March 16, 2006 at 12:46 PM Mental Health News
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Protein Responsible for Memory Loss in Alzheimer's disease
Professor Karen Ashe, of the University Of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis said that a protein complex in the brain of mice results in memory loss.
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This could be a new target for drug designing to treat patients with Alzheimer's disease. The team of scientists used genetically engineered mice that suffered from memory loss similar to people with Alzheimer's.

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Statistics show that about 12 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer's disease. It is the leading cause of dementia in the elderly. There is no complete cure for this progressive illness but drug treatments may slow the early progression of the disorder.

In this disease the protein deposits called amyloid plaques deposits between nerve cells in the brain and tangles of a protein called tau inside nerve cells. The researchers reported the findings in the journal Nature.

The scientists found a form of the amyloid beta protein in the transgenic mice that displayed early signs of memory loss but which had no plaques or nerve cell loss. They isolate and purified this protein complex and injected it into a healthy mouse and saw that there was a decline in their cognitive ability.

Hence further research is necessary to understand the mechanism by which the protein exerts its function on the brain cells thereby we can find new treatment modalities to prevent it from harming the brain.

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