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Manipulating brain inflammation may help clear brain of amyloid plaques, Mayo Clinic researchers say
Date:10/22/2009

teins that help in removing the amyloid plaques from the brain.

Dr. Das hypothesizes that inflammation helps clear plaque early in the development of Alzheimer's disease, but that at some point, continued production of the amyloid clumps in the brain overwhelms the ability of microglial cells to do their job. At that point, inflammation, chronically activated by presence of the amyloid plaque, can produce its own unhealthy effects on brain function.

"Indeed, it may be feasible to transiently and selectively manipulate the microglia cells to alter amyloid plaques in a manner that is both effective and tolerable," he says. "However, given that chronic inflammation over years of insult may be detrimental, any intervention based on activation of the brain's immune system must clearly strike a balance between the neuroprotective and neurotoxic effects," cautions Dr. Das. "We need to study this phenomenon more thoroughly, but if we are right, it could have implications not only for Alzheimer's disease but also other neurodegenerative disorders characterized by protein buildup in the brain, such as Parkinson's disease."


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Contact: Kevin Punsky
punsky.kevin@mayo.edu
904-953-2299
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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