Scientists have identified the cause of the development of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain, raising hopes that new therapies could be developed to target the disease.
An international team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge found that instead of spreading like cancer from one source, clusters of toxic protein slowly accumulated in many parts of the brain at once.
These clusters develop over many years and are called clusters, and they cause cell death and brain contraction, leading to memory loss, personality changes, and difficulty performing daily activities.
In a study published in the journal Science Advances, the rate of development of Alzheimer’s disease was determined by recurrences in individual brain regions, not by clusters that spread from one area to another.
How quickly these groups kill brain cells determines the rate of overall decline in brain function.
Two types of proteins, called dove and amyloid-beta, work together to create the problem.
The scientists used autopsy brain samples and scans from living patients, including those with mild cognitive impairment and those with late blight, to monitor Dow build-up.
Dow found that the response to aggregates was surprisingly slow, lasting up to five years.
David Kleinman, associate professor of dementia research at the UK’s Institute for Dementia Research at the University of Cambridge, said: “Neurons are surprisingly good at preventing problems, but we need to find ways to make them even better if we are to develop an effective treatment.”
Researchers say their findings could help develop treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, which affects about 44 million people worldwide, targeting the most important processes that occur when humans get sick.
Professor Thomas Knowles, co-senior author of the Department of Chemistry at Youssef Hamid in Cambridge, noted: “The key finding is that stopping mass copying would be more effective in the disease stages we have studied than in their reproduction.”
Researchers now plan to look at past processes in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and expand the study to include other brain diseases, where excessive exposure to Dow protein plays a key role in improving the condition.
Commenting on the study, Dr. Sarah Emericio, UK research head at Alzheimer’s Research, said: “We hope that this study and other future therapies like this will help focus on developing Dow, so that future treatments have a better chance of slowing down, including those with dementia. The processes of the disease benefit others.
Source: The Independent
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