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:6/24/2017)... ... June 24, 2017 , ... The weather is heating up and the ... business owners should be aware that the summer months provide more than warmer temperatures ... and keys can be negatively affected from direct exposure to the sun. When it ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... The Rhode Island ... Care Management Alerts and Dashboards, an innovative new service enabling healthcare providers to ... Care Management Alerts and Dashboards provide near real-time data about patients admitted to ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... By scoring 100% for ... consecutive four-star rating from premier online charity evaluator, Charity Navigator, validating ANRF's work as ... of all charities reviewed by Charity Navigator and earns ANRF a spot on their ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... ... Studies show evidence that carotenoids and antioxidants derived either from the diet ... , But how often do ophthalmologists and optometrists in Sweden recommend the use of ... with early symptoms of AMD? A study published recently in Dove Medical ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... in Newburgh, New York, has recently begun offering three new minimally invasive procedures ... best cutting-edge procedures and reducing downtime, Dr. Rubinstein is excited to bring microneedling, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/30/2017)... Israel , May 30, 2017 DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: ... big data solutions, today announced that it will be presenting at ... at 8:00 AM PT. Erez Raphael , CEO, of DarioHealth ... The conference will be held on June 6th & 7th, 2017 ... companies in the small / micro-cap space. ...
(Date:5/30/2017)... Therapix Biosciences Ltd. (Nasdaq: TRPX), a ... development of cannabinoid-based drugs, today announced that the ... three upcoming scientific and investor conferences in June: ... ... Wednesday, June 7 ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... , May 26, 2017  Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ... President and CEO, will represent the Company in a fireside ... Conference on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 10:40 a.m. PT ... Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. ... the event will be available on the Company,s website at ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: