The accumulation of damaged proteins is a normal part of
the aging brain. A recent review article published online in The FASEB Journal
points to the "trigger" for the inflammatory response, caused by the
immune system, that precedes Alzheimer's disease and other neurological
Specifically, the authors show that an increase in
aggregated, damaged proteins within neurons sets off these inflammatory responses. This observation
was published online in The FASEB Journal
‘Therapies that remove aggregated proteins accumulated inside aging cells and prevent inflammation hold potential to prevent/treat neurodegenerative diseases.’
"We hope that the future development of therapies aimed at
preventing or removing the accumulation of aggregated proteins within
the aging brain will lead to healthy lifestyles in the elderly by
maintaining their cognitive capabilities," said Antonio Currais, a
co-author of the work and senior research associate at the Salk
Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California.
laboratory is very focused on developing therapies for the treatment of
neurodegenerative diseases by targeting pathological processes that
occur with aging and that we believe are the primary cause of those
diseases. This is in direct contrast to the pharmaceutical companies
that have focused their drug discovery approaches on very rare genetic
forms of these diseases, basically ignoring aging."
In the review, scientists suggest that because nerve cells do not
divide and cannot dilute out damaged proteins by distributing them
between two new cells, the proteins accumulate and become toxic, causing
inflammatory responses within neurons themselves. This also suggests
that the link between protein aggregation and the initiation of
inflammatory responses may not be exclusive to the brain, but rather a
common denominator of aging in other tissues and organs.
therapies that promote the removal of aggregated proteins that
accumulate inside cells with aging or prevent the consequential
activation of inflammatory signals hold great potential to prevent and
treat neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's,
Huntington's, and even stroke.
"This insightful review, the first in a special series organized by
Joel Buxbaum of our editorial board, integrates studies by the authors
and other teams that are increasingly pointing to an inflammatory axis
of Alzheimer's, either on the pathogenic arm or in response to the
actual disease trigger" said Thoru Pederson, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal
. "The inflammation dimension of AD cannot be ignored."