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Researchers design Alzheimer's antibodies
Date:12/9/2011

ng Peter Tessier, uses the same molecular interactions that cause the Alzheimer's proteins to stick together and form the toxic particles that are a hallmark of the disease.

"We are actually exploiting the same protein interactions that cause the disease in the brain to mediate binding of antibodies to toxic Alzheimer's protein particles," Tessier said.

Alzheimer's disease is due to a specific protein the Alzheimer's protein sticking together to form protein particles. These particles then damage the normal, healthy functions of the brain. The formation of similar toxic protein particles is central to diseases such as Parkinson's and mad cow disease.

Importantly, the new Alzheimer's antibodies developed by Tessier and his colleagues only latched on to the harmful clumped proteins and not the harmless monomers or single peptides that are not associated with disease.

Tessier and his colleagues see the potential for their technique being used to target and better understand similar types of protein particles in disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

"By binding to specific portions of the toxic protein, we could test hypotheses about how to prevent or reverse cellular toxicity linked to Alzheimer's disease," Tessier said.

In the long term, as scientists learn more about methods to deliver drugs into the extremely well-protected brain tissue, the new antibody research may also help to develop new drugs to combat disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
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Contact: Gabrielle DeMarco
demarg@rpi.edu
518-276-6542
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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