Scientists find new cause of Alzheimer's

Apr 19, 2006

Belgium researchers say they are the first to demonstrate the quantity of amyloid protein in brain cells is a major factor of Alzheimer's disease.

Amyloid protein has already been known to be the primary component of senile plaques in the brains of patients. The researchers say their discovery demonstrates the greater the quantity of the protein, the younger the dementia patient is.

Alzheimer's disease is a memory disorder that affects up to 70 percent of all dementia patients. In Belgium, about 100,000 people suffer from the disease that gradually destroys brain cells responsible for memory and knowledge.

Ever since the disease was reported by Alois Alzheimer 100 years ago scientists have been searching for ways to treat it.

The Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology scientists affiliated with the University of Antwerp say their findings lead to a new understanding: the quantity of the amyloid precursor protein, and thus of the amyloid protein, in brain cells contributes significantly to the risk of contracting Alzheimer's.

They said that discovery will have to be taken into account in diagnostic tests and in the search for new medicines.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Deciding on a purchase: Does it matter if you look up or down while shopping?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Professor takes madness out of the month

9 minutes ago

With the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketballl Tournaments tipping off soon, brackets and bubble-busters are reaching a fever pitch. Dr. Jay Coleman, the Richard deRaismes Kip Professor of Operations Management and Quantitative ...

Seven strategies to advance women in science

2 hours ago

Despite the progress made by women in science, engineering, and medicine, a glance at most university directories or pharmaceutical executive committees tells the more complex story. Women in science can ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.