Alzheimer's process 'similar to that of prion diseases'

Posted on 04 October 2011

Researchers have had a breakthrough in Alzheimer's research that could help those paying for care due to the condition.

A study published in journal Molecular Psychiatry revealed that the brain damage seen in Alzheimer's may form similar to that of infection prion diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob.

This indicates that Alzheimer's disease could potentially arise from an infectious process, according to authors of the paper, which was published in journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Researchers explained: "The underlying mechanism of Alzheimer's disease is very similar to the prion diseases. It involves a normal protein that becomes misshapen and is able to spread by transforming good proteins to bad ones. The bad proteins accumulate in the brain, forming plaque deposits that are believed to kill neuron cells in Alzheimer's."

In other news, a study published in the Journal of Proteome Research revealed that older women who are destined to develop Alzheimer's disease have high levels of a protein linked to pregnancy.

Posted by Toby Mynott



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