Navigation Links
A revolutionary new model for Alzheimer's disease

A study from the Buck Institute for Age Research offers a revolutionary new model for Alzheimer's disease (AD), a devastating neurodegenerative disorder which afflicts 24 million people worldwide. In an effort to unravel the normal function of a protein implicated in AD, scientists in California and France have discovered a naturally occurring protein that provides a new therapeutic target for the disease. The finding upsets the current theory that AD is a disease of toxicity stemming from damage caused by sticky plaques that collect in the brain this research points to the condition as a disorder involving an imbalance in signaling between neurons. The study appears online in the Nature publication Cell Death and Differentiation.

One of the mysteries of AD has been the normal function of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) which are concentrated at the points where neurons connect. Even though the sticky amyloid plaques which have been viewed as a hallmark sign of AD result from APP, it seems unlikely that APP exists simply to cause Alzheimer's disease. In their study, scientists from the Buck Institute and the CNRS (Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique) show that APP binds to netrin-1, a protein that helps to guide nerves and their connections in the brain, as well as helping nerve cells to survive. When netrin-1 was given to mice that have a gene for Alzheimer's disease their symptoms were reversed, and the sticky amyloid was reduced. These results suggest that the long-held belief that AD is caused by brain cell damage inflicted by the amyloid plaques may be wrong; instead, it is beginning to appear that the disease stems from an imbalance between the normal making and breaking of connections in the brain, with netrin-1 supporting the connections and the amyloid breaking the connections -- both by binding to APP and activating normal cell programs. Not only did the netrin-1 binding to APP keep the nerve cells alive and connected, but it also shut down the production of the amyloid, all of which makes it an interesting potential therapeutic.

"I think we're going to see an explosion in the next five years involving the dissection of these signaling pathways whose imbalance leads to Alzheimer's disease," said Buck Institute Faculty Member Dale Bredesen, MD, who led the California half of the French-Californian collaborative research. "We now believe that APP is part of a 'plasticity module' that functions in normal memory and forgetting, and that netrin-1 gives us an important starting point to restore the normal balance."

"We believe that Alzheimer's disease is somewhat analogous to cancer, which results from an imbalance between the normal processes that support cell survival and those that cause cell turnover," said Patrick Mehlen, PhD, Director of the Apoptosis, Cancer and Development CNRS Laboratory at the University of Lyon and co-senior author of the study. "Our hope is that this research will lead to therapeutics that will be used to address this imbalance much earlier in the disease process."

Research is underway to develop a drug based on the findings. The Buck Institute and the CNRS in Lyon are partnering with Neurobiological Technologies Inc., (NASDAQ: NTII) to bring the discovery from the laboratory to clinical trials.


Contact: Kris Rebillot
Buck Institute for Age Research

Related biology news :

1. Old developmental pathways spawn revolutionary evolutionary changes
2. M2SYS Introduces Revolutionary Biometric Artificial Intelligence Technology to Significantly Reduce Fingerprint Software False Reject Rates
3. Revolutionary CO2 maps zoom in on greenhouse gas sources
4. Revolutionary chefs? Not likely, shows physics research
5. Singapore-US scientists first to develop revolutionary microchip that uses 30 times less energy
6. Clemson chemists present revolutionary teaching concepts
7. Novel 3-D cell culture model shows selective tumor uptake of nanoparticles
8. A new kind of rat model
9. JILA finds flaw in model describing DNA elasticity
10. Smithsonian researchers develop models to assess wetland health
11. Prediction of RNA pseudoknots using heuristic modeling with mapping and sequential folding
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/16/2015)... Calif. , Nov 16, 2015  Synaptics ... of human interface solutions, today announced expansion of ... TouchView ™ touch controller and display driver ... revolution of smartphones. These new TDDI products add ... TD4100 (HD resolution), TD4302 (WQHD resolution), and TD4322 ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... Nov. 10, 2015  In this report, ... basis of product, type, application, disease indication, ... this report are consumables, services, software. The ... safety biomarkers, efficacy biomarkers, and validation biomarkers. ... are diagnostics development, drug discovery and development, ...
(Date:11/2/2015)... 2015  SRI International has been awarded a contract ... services to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) PREVENT Cancer ... expertise, modern testing and support facilities, and analytical instrumentation ... toxicology studies to evaluate potential cancer prevention drugs. ... Cancer Drug Development Program is an NCI-supported pipeline to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... ... • Jeon Jin Bio Corp, a Korean Biotech venture company, has developed ... Bird Free, an oil-based, gel formula made from natural ... smell, taste and touch, enabling safe, effective avian control without toxic chemicals , ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 --> ... in imaging technologies, announced today that it has received a ... the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework Programme for Research and ... trial in breast cancer. , --> ... --> --> The study aims to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... HOLLISTON, Mass. , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants for ... will present at the LD Micro "Main Event" ... p.m. PT. The presentation will be webcast live and ... will also be available at the conference for one-on-one ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 The ... is a professional and in-depth study on the ...      (Logo: ) , ... industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain ... the international markets including development trends, competitive landscape ...
Breaking Biology Technology: