Alzheimer’s Disease Now Unraveled With Science Articles

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Scientists have identified new methods for better understanding the links between specific proteins and the risks linked with Alzheimer’s Disease. This was explained in an article co-authored by University of Alabama researchers which was also published in Science Express.

With the experiments making use of a series of model organisms which include yeasts, microscopic roundworms and rats, the researchers also showed how basic mechanisms inside the cells are disrupted when a certain human protein, which is known as amyloid beta peptide, fails to correctly progress. This certain study also shows the function of a second protein, which the scientists as PICALM, and the role it plays in modifying the problem.

“By using these yeast models, in combination with worms, we really are hopeful of finding a way by which we can understand and maybe combat Alzheimer’s disease more rapidly,” according to Dr. Guy Caldwell, professor of biological sciences at The University of Alabama. He is also one of three University of Alabama-authors on the Science article.

The research involved several of scientists from different universities and research institutions, which also include the Whitehead Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

It has been reported that a repeated misfolding of the amyloid beta peptides within the human brain which is said to trigger brain cells death resulting in Alzheimer’s Disease, Caldwell claimed that such misfolding mechanism is still not clearly understood.

The proper functioning of cells have to efficiently deliver proteins and other chemical components to several other parts of the cell, said Caldwell. The research indicates how the amyloid beta peptides interrupt a specific cellular pathway which we refer to as endocytosis, which also prevents the delivery of other needed proteins in other parts of the cell.

“Understanding what is going wrong inside a cell, or what pathways or proteins might be directly linked to the mechanisms that are involved in Alzheimer’s, is really a much more fruitful strategy for drug development.”

Information which are drawn from the brains of patients who have died due to Alzheimer’s and have donated their bodies for study purposes, also have been significant in their efforts, according to Caldwell.

Fast progress of the DNA sequencing methods and human genetic population studies are contributing a great number of leads and potential for studies for many researchers. These genetic studies which when taken in combination with potentially beneficial attributes of simple organisms can reveal important functions of genes and proteins, and can be very insightful, said Caldwell.

“What this paper shows is that simple systems, like yeast and worms, can be engineered to discern mechanisms that might be associated with complex human diseases, and, by that, we may accelerate the path of discovery for advancing therapeutics for those diseases.”

“The treatments available for AD are few and their efficacy limited,” the scientists wrote. “Determining how best to rescue neuronal function in the context of the whole brain is a problem of staggering proportions.”

“On a personal level,” Caldwell said, “so many of us have been affected by family or loved ones who have suffered from Alzheimer’s. It’s a great privilege for us to be able to contribute to the respective avenues of our understanding of the disease. It’s a devastating disorder. The societal cost of Alzheimer’s disease is tremendous.”





  1. Allen K. Golden says:

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