Navigation Links
Upending textbook science on Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is caused by the build-up of a brain peptide called amyloid-beta. That's why eliminating the protein has been the focus of almost all drug research pursuing a cure for the devastating neurodegenerative condition.

But that may be counterproductive, says Dr. Inna Slutsky of Tel Aviv University's Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Her recent research demonstrates that amyloid-beta is also necessary to maintain proper brain functioning.

These findings may shake the foundations of Alzheimer's research.

In a new study published this month in Nature Neuroscience, Dr. Slutsky finds that amyloid-beta is essential for normal day-to-day information transfer through nerve cell networks in the brain. "If this protein is removed from the brain," says Dr. Slutsky, "as some drugs in development attempt to do, it may cause an impairment of neuronal function, as well as a further and faster accumulation of amyloid-betain Alzheimer's."

A reset button for drug researchers

Without amyloid-beta, a normal product of cellular metabolism, one's ability to learn and remember could be profoundly damaged, so drugs currently in development to eliminate amyloid-beta could be rendered obsolete. With Dr. Slutsky's research, a leap in understanding the cause and development of Alzheimer's disease, however, new, more effective drug therapies could be developed.

By studying synapses in brain slices of healthy mice and in neuronal networks growing in vitro, Dr. Slutsky and her team determined that there is an optimal amount of amyloid-beta needed to keep the neurons working well. Her students Efrat Abramov and Iftach Dolev found that if this precise balance is even slightly disturbed, the effectiveness of information transfer between neurons is greatly impaired.

"Synapses where neurons meet work as filters of information," says Dr. Slutsky. "What is really exciting for us is the fact that amyloid-beta peptide, believed to be toxic, regulates the type of information that neurons transfer."

A new way to prevent Alzheimer's?

The study of Dr. Slutsky's team suggests that the amyloid-beta protein belongs to endogenous molecules regulating normal synaptic transmission in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning and memory function. "There is a long list of neuromodulators that help synapses optimize information transfer," she says. "Intriguingly, amyloid-beta seems to be able to modulate this filter and shape its properties."

The new study is discouraging news for those Alzheimer drugs that attempt to block or remove the amyloid-beta aggregation process currently in clinical trials, Dr. Slutsky believes. "Our data shows that after the release of amyloid-beta, synaptic activity in the neurons is increased through a positive feedback loop. Disrupting this positive feedback loop, I believe, is the key for prevention of the earliest signs of Alzheimer's."


Contact: George Hunka
American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Related medicine news :

1. Many Ob-Gyn Textbooks Lack Good Info on Breast-Feeding
2. Rising Medical Solutions and CEO Are Featured as a Case Study in the Effective Small Business Management, Ninth Edition Textbook
3. Landmark textbook on strokes in children and young adults updated in second edition
4. UTSA Dean George Perry co-edits textbook chronicling four decades of Alzheimers research
5. Living Medical Textbook(TM) from Projects In Knowledge(R)
6. U.S. Research Funding Continues to Flatten as U.S. Health Costs Climb - in August 31 Science
7. The Pharma & Life Sciences Best Practice Database: an Industry Resource for Successful Techniques and Performance Benchmarks for Reaching the Top
8. Edwards Lifesciences to Present at the Bear Stearns 20th Annual Healthcare Conference
9. Edwards Lifesciences Receives CE Mark for Edwards SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve
10. HealthFitness CEO Supports Move Toward Cultural Shift, and Science-Based Health Management Programming
11. Sangamo BioSciences to Present at the ThinkEquity Partners Growth Conference
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... On November 10, 2015, Bohrer Brady, LLC filed a ... behalf of a home health care worker who provided companionship services for the elderly, ... workers employed by Humana, Inc., Humana at Home, Inc., and SeniorBridge Family Companies (CT), ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 25, 2015, ... for the Narconon network, announced the release of a new cutting edge recovery program ... organization has been working with drug- and alcohol-addicted individuals with the purpose to free ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... SCOTTSDALE, AZ) - Today, Dr. Todd C. ... and non-surgical treatments, announced the expansion of his private practice capabilities with the ... Highly trained and nationally recognized for his natural approach, Dr. Todd Hobgood serves ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Today, Mothers Against Drunk ... roadways has dropped below 10,000 for the first time since 2011. In 2014, there ... According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... philanthropic seniors, is resulting in a way for homeless people to have a ... have launched a new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... WASHINGTON , Nov. 25, 2015  The ... Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the March of ... bipartisan Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 ... the number of newborns born exposed to drugs, ... Since the bill,s introduction, all three organizations have ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... AAIPharma Services Corp./Cambridge Major Laboratories, Inc. ... $15.8  Million to expand its laboratories and global ... The expansion will provide additional office space and ... of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets. ... up to 40,000 square feet of expanded development ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  ARKRAY USA , Inc., a ... demonstrating the accuracy of its blood glucose meter systems. ... Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in Los Angeles ... ® 01 meter and the Assure ® ... to accurately measure glucose levels in blood is essential ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: