Inflammatory mediator 'encourages Alzheimer's plaque formation'

Posted on 08 September 2011

An inflammatory mediator promotes plaque formation in Alzheimer's disease - a condition suffered by many paying for long term care.

This was the finding of a study published in journal Neuron, which linked neuroinflammation and the classical pathological brain changes seen in Alzheimer's.

Neuroinflammation has been identified as one of the major components of the neurodegenerative condition, alongside amyloid B (AB) protein plaques and neurofibrillary tangles of tau protein in the brain.

Prior research showed that Alzheimer's inflammation increases the nitric oxide synthase (NOS2) in neurons and support cells, which in turn lead to the production of nitric oxide (NO) - a substance linked to neurodegeneration.

Senior study author, Dr Michael T Heneka, said: "Since there is so far no mechanistic explanation how expression of NOS2 and the subsequent production of NO and its reaction products modulate AΒ and thereby the progression of AD, we speculated that nitration of AΒ might contribute to AD pathology."

Posted by Natalie Edwards



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