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:10/13/2017)... ... ... The American Board of Family Medicine's (ABFM) Board of Directors has selected Warren ... James C. Puffer upon his retirement. Dr. Newton will serve in the position of ... end of 2018. Upon assuming the role of President and CEO on January 1, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in the ... facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab participated ... Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has released ... understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints a picture ... Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says that is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First ... compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at ... (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present the ... Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium ... a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Denmark , Oct. 2, 2017 The Rebound ... in the struggle to reverse the tide of prescription drug ... for regulating their medicine intake and stepping down their dosage ... set to launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 people ... Learn more at http://www.rebound-solution.com/ ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... MIAMI , Sept. 27, 2017  Commended for their ... recent notable awards. Ranked as number one in the South ... ninth time in Inc. 5000 yearly list, the national specialty ... CEO, Armando Bardisa will soon be honored by ... Set to receive his award ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: