New Clues to Genesis of Alzheimer's

Scientists may have found missing link in development of disease

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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- German scientists say they may have found a missing link in the chain of events that trigger Alzheimer's disease.

University of Bonn researchers are pointing the finger at a protein called abeta, which often shows up in large quantities in the cerebral cortex of patients with Alzheimer's. Their study appears in the February issue of Traffic.

Despite the presence of abeta in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, scientists weren't certain whether the protein could enter the cell plasma and cause damage.

In this new study, Bonn University scientists say they discovered abeta can enter the cell plasma but, as a rule, decomposes once it's in the cell plasma. But the scientists suggest that if this decomposition does not occur properly, abeta can accumulate and destroy cells.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about Alzheimer's disease.

SOURCE: Bonn University, news release, January 2004

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