Navigation Links
Upending textbook science on Alzheimer's disease
Date:11/23/2009

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
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Dr. ... New York, has recently begun offering three new minimally invasive procedures to patients ... procedures and reducing downtime, Dr. Rubinstein is excited to bring microneedling, microneedling facials, ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... The Aesthetic Channel has recently highlighted Dr. ... come up with a proprietary technique that he calls the AuraLyft Facelift. ... For all ages, patients can expect to look refreshed, rejuvenated, and revitalized. , ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... MD Now Urgent Care opened its ... facility overall and marks the urgent care center's eighth location in Miami-Dade county. , ... Falls shopping mall. The new clinic offers a wide array of services ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ulster University, Magee Campus in ... 9 am to 3 pm to present to graduate students exciting new and innovative ... original curriculum project led by The Health Improvement Service of the Western Health & ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Radabaugh & Associates, ... families and business owners in North Central West Virginia, is embarking on a ... differently abled residents in the region. , The Stepping Stones organization offers a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/1/2017)... BELL, Pa. , June 1, 2017 ... (PRN) and Veterinarian Recommended Solutions (VRS), and KD Pharma ... investment in Nutriceutical Holdings by KD Pharma Group. KD ... Holdings with the option to acquire the entire company. ... partner in KD. They are committed to growing the ...
(Date:5/30/2017)... 2017 Therapix Biosciences Ltd. (Nasdaq: TRPX), ... the development of cannabinoid-based drugs, today announced that ... at three upcoming scientific and investor conferences in ... Invitational: ...                     Wednesday, June ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... May 25, 2017  In response to the opioid ... Direct Relief is working with Pfizer to make up ... no cost to community health centers, free and charitable ... "Pfizer has a long-standing commitment to ... ensuring patient safety through educational activities," said Caroline ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: