Navigation Links
Untangling the mysteries of Alzheimer's
Date:2/2/2012

One of the most distinctive signs of the development of Alzheimer's disease is a change in the behavior of a protein that neuroscientists call tau. In normal brains, tau is present in individual units essential to neuron health. In the cells of Alzheimer's brains, by contrast, tau proteins aggregate into twisted structures known as "neurofibrillary tangles." These tangles are considered a hallmark of the disease, but their precise role in Alzheimer's pathology has long been a point of contention among researchers.

Now, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers have found new evidence that confirms the significance of tau to Alzheimer's. Instead of focusing on tangles, however, their work highlights the intermediary steps between a single tau protein unit and a neurofibrillary tangle assemblages of two, three, four, or more tau proteins known as "oligomers," which they believe are the most toxic entities in Alzheimer's.

"What we discovered is that there are smaller structures that form before the neurofibrillary tangles, and they are much more toxic than the big structures," said Rakez Kayed, UTMB assistant professor and senior author of a paper on the work now online in the FASEB Journal. "And we established that they were toxic in real human brains, which is important to developing an effective therapy."

According to Kayed, a key antibody developed at UTMB called T22 enabled the team to produce a detailed portrait of tau oligomer behavior in human brain tissue. Specifically designed to bond only to tau oligomers (and not lone tau proteins or neurofibrillary tangles), the antibody made it possible for the researchers to use a variety of analytical tools to compare samples of Alzheimer's brain with samples of age-matched healthy brain.

"One thing that's remarkable about this research is that before we developed this antibody, people couldn't even see tau oligomers in the brain," Kayed said. "With T22, we were able to thoroughly characterize them, and also study them in human brain cells."

Among the researchers' most striking findings: in some of the Alzheimer's brains they examined, tau oligomer levels were as much as four times as high as those found in age-matched control brains.

Other experiments revealed specific biochemical behavior and structures taken on by oligomers, and demonstrated their presence outside neurons in particular, on the walls of blood vessels.

"We think this is going to make a big impact scientifically, because it opens up a lot of new areas to study," Kayed said. "It also relates to our main focus, developing a cure for Alzheimer's. And I find that very, very exciting."


'/>"/>
Contact: Jim Kelly
jpkelly@utmb.edu
409-772-8791
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Unusual Place to Find Peace, Bliss and Explore Life's Mysteries
2. Scientists Unravel Mysteries of Intelligence
3. Secrets to Life, the Shroud of Turin, and Heaven's Mysteries Revealed
4. Man Receives Miracle – Able to Solve the Dead Sea Scrolls, Shroud of Turin, and Mysteries to Heaven
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/17/2017)... , ... August 17, 2017 , ... ... The Journey to Healing Through Forgiveness ($15.99, paperback, 9781498497626; $7.99, eBook, 9781498497633) ... to encourage inner healing of memories and achieve forgiveness, through a progressive journey ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... , ... August 17, 2017 , ... Momkus McCluskey ... newest Partner. Ms. Parks is a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Employment ... and provides a wealth of knowledge in matters of employment litigation, commercial litigation and ...
(Date:8/17/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A recent report indicates that circa 79 percent of 483 ... in data integrity. The FDA outlines their expectations for quality critical instrumentation in the ... of the Beckman Coulter Life Sciences Virtual Trade Show Virtual Event, this ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Blue Health Intelligence (BHI) announced today that Dr. ... Spiro brings over 30 years of clinical, healthcare IT, value-based care, and change management ... , “I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Spiro to BHI,” said Swati Abbott, ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... The Data Council, ... that it was acquired by Advantage Solutions. The Data Council’s IX-ONE platform ... include the industry’s leading suppliers, brokers, distributors and retailers. The Data Council will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/28/2017)... July 28, 2017 EnvoyHealth, a Diplomat company, has ... program for CleverCap LITE, a technology designed to improve ... deliver innovative health technology solutions and services that help ... CleverCap LITE offers medication monitoring and ... cover: Records date ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST ) today announced ... financial guidance for the full-year 2017. ... Reported net sales of $397.6 million, a record high, ... constant currency (organic) grew by 3.9%. ... in the prior-year quarter. Second-quarter 2017 adjusted diluted EPS ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... Medical Aesthetics, a leading medical aesthetic clinic in Singapore ... several skin conditions from the inside. The natural process ... The skin becomes more transparent due to the thinning of the ... from the sun contributes to aging skin, causing age spots and ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: