Navigation Links
Alzheimer's Plaques Can Form in One Day

Study also notes that related neuronal damage follows soon after

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- An advanced imaging study has captured the fact that amyloid plaques, the harbingers of Alzheimer's disease, can develop in just 24 hours.

"They form more rapidly than expected," said Dr. Bradley Hyman, leader of the group reporting the finding in the Feb. 7 issue of Nature. Once the plaques develop, damage is evident in nearby nerve cells almost immediately, he added.

"The study we've done, using an animal model of Alzheimer's disease, tried to sort out the order in which things occur," said Hyman, director of the Alzheimer's Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease. "We've had snapshots of individual steps in the past. This microscopic technology gives us the ability to watch the process from beginning to end, to see the variety of things that happen as inflammatory cells get activated."

The microscopic imaging, done first weekly and then daily, found that plaque formation was a relatively rare event. But plaques could be seen in some animals in as little as 24 hours after a plaque-free image was taken.

What happens in the animals, mice bred to develop amyloid plaques, almost certainly happens in the human brain, Hyman said, and the finding could be applied to humans at risk for developing Alzheimer's.

"Knowing that plaque occurs quickly implies that something initiates it," he said. "That is the next question to be answered."

The studies showed that nerve cell changes associated with Alzheimer's disease appear within days. The results confirm suspicions that plaque formation is a primary event in the abnormal cell activity that underlies Alzheimer's disease, Hyman said.

"Watching the pathology unfold in real time dynamically, that is an extremely exciting move forward," said Dr. Sam Gandy, chairman of the Alzheimer's Association medical and scientific advisory council. Gandy recently became associate director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

The finding does have immediate relevance to the effort to develop treatments for Alzheimer's disease, Gandy said. "It reinforces the idea that anti-amyloid medication is a rational strategy," he said. "It reinforces the idea that attacking amyloid plaque helps nerve cells. You can see in nerve cells nearby changes in shape indicating that the cells are reacting to amyloid plaque, that is a link between those features of a pathology."

The study also answers a question about whether amyloid plaque can form only near blood vessels, Gandy said. "There have been reports that every amyloid plaque had a blood vessel somewhere," he explained. "That seems not to be the case."

But formation of amyloid plaque is not the only brain change associated with Alzheimer's disease, Hyman noted. Another notable feature consists of changes in the tau proteins that normally provide a scaffold for orderly function of nerve cells in the brain. Those tau proteins can become disordered, forming tangles that lead to destruction of nerve cells.

Studies of the formation of those tangles, using the same technology that led to the plaque discovery, are about to begin, Hyman said.

More information

Keep up to date on Alzheimer's disease by consulting the Alzheimer's Association.

SOURCES: Bradley Hyman, M.D., Ph.D., director, Alzheimer's Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Sam Gandy, M.D., professor, Alzheimer's Disease Research, and associate director, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City; Feb. 7, 2008, Nature

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Alzheimers Research Target May Be a Dead End
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Alzheimer's Plaques Can Form in One Day
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... (AUC), European Union (EU), ANDI Pan African Centres of Excellence, and public R&D ... Nairobi (UNON) for the opening of the 5th African Network for Drugs and ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... According to an article published November ... more widely heralded as a breakthrough for performing hernia repairs. The article explains that ... surgery is that it can greatly reduce the pain that a patient might otherwise ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 25, 2015, ... for the Narconon network, announced the release of a new cutting edge recovery program ... organization has been working with drug- and alcohol-addicted individuals with the purpose to free ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 23rd 2015 Cozy ... personal heating products business. Cozy Products explains what this means for business moving ... well with the Cozy Products business model: to sell personal heaters that reduce energy ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Beddit® has launched a new Android app for ... features a more intuitive SleepScoreā„¢ that rates sleep quality on a 100-point scale and ... created by a proprietary algorithm. Beddit analyzes the data to provide an easy to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ... Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier ... Emerging Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ... Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" ... --> --> This new 247-page ... therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... to their offering. --> ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: