Press Esc to close
Thursday 30 June 2016
News updated at 3:05 AM IST
Weather
Max: 26.3°C
Min : 20.6°C
In Bengaluru
Rain lightly

Protein which cause Alzheimer's 'identified'

Last updated: 26 July, 2010
Washington, Jul 26, (PTI):

In what could pave the way for effective therapies for Alzheimer's, scientists claim to have discovered a protein which plays a key role at a cellular level in the development of the disease.

An international team, led by Prof Jürgen Götz and Dr Lars Ittner of University of Sydney, has revealed how a protein called TAU affects and mediates toxicity of amyloid-b, which together with TAU causes the symptoms of Alzheimer's.

According to Prof Götz, this significant breakthrough has implications for how the disease develops and how it may be treated, the 'Cell' journal reported.

"The main clinical feature of Alzheimer's disease is a progressive loss of cognition, accompanied by aggression and mood disturbance, and eventually, the patients need to be institutionalised. The toll of Alzheimer's disease on patients and their families and caretakers is enormous. Unfortunately, to date Alzheimer's disease is incurable.

"A handful of approved drugs provide if at all only very modest symptomatic relief, without curing the disease. Therefore, to develop effective treatments, it is absolutely necessary that the basic mechanisms underlying these disorders be understood. This was our challenge," he said.

The brain of all Alzheimer's patients is characterised by two types of insoluble deposits -- amyloid-b plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, the latter formed by the protein TAU.

In their research, the scientists found that TAU is essential for the positioning of yet another protein, the kinase FYN, at the dendritic site of the synapse, which then renders the neuron vulnerable to amyloid-b.

"By genetically deleting TAU or introducing a non-functional variant of TAU, we found we could prevent the development of symptoms in mouse models of Alzheimer's. These mice showed normal survival and their memory appeared to be perfectly fine," Dr Ittner said.
In the second part of the research, the team explored the potential of their discovery for a treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

"We translated our findings into a novel therapeutic approach by using a small peptide that mimics the effects of removing TAU from the synapse, and we were thrilled to see that this not only fully prevented the pathology in our Alzheimer's disease models but cleared their memory deficits," Dr Ittner said.

Added Prof Götz: "Although there is still a long way to go we believe we may have found a way of treating Alzheimer's.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Villagers looking at a one horned rhinoceros that strayed in...

Villagers looking at a one horned rhinoceros that strayed in...

Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan during the Pro Kabaddi match between Jaipur....

Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan during the Pro Kabaddi match between Jaipur....

Illuminated Mysuru Palace during the marriage....

Illuminated Mysuru Palace during the marriage....

Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress...

Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress...

Fans holds an national soccer team jersey with the name and number of Lionel Messi...

Fans holds an national soccer team jersey with the name and number of Lionel Messi...

Virat Kohli interacts with children at the launch of Stepathlon Kids...

Virat Kohli interacts with children at the launch of Stepathlon Kids...

Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI embrace during a ceremony...

Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI embrace during a ceremony...

Horse-mounted Policemen seen at a road in Kolkata...

Horse-mounted Policemen seen at a road in Kolkata...

An egret takes off in New Delhi on Tuesday...

An egret takes off in New Delhi on Tuesday...

A typist attends a customer at a street flooded after heavy rains outside Court complex...

A typist attends a customer at a street flooded after heavy rains outside Court complex...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523