Monday, August 20, 2012

Unifying Theory of a Prion-like Process in Neurodegenerative Disease

Researchers at UCSF are the first to demonstrate that amyloid beta (Abeta) deposition can be planted in the brain by synthetic amyloid beta alone, fortifying the conclusion that a prion-like process of corruptive protein templating is involved.
Transgenic mice were inoculated with brain derived Abeta or synthetic Abeta peptide protein. Inoculated mice showed significant Abeta deposition over time.
These findings further support an enlarging body of evidence that abnormal protein accumulations seen in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease,and ALS/Frototemporal degeneration follow the same pathologic abnormal protein creates a template and seeds other proteins to self-propagate, misfold, build up, and eventually damage brain tissue inducing cell death.
Using this knowledge, treatment would be started decades before symptom declaration, targeting the initial seed and preventing the deluge of misfolded toxic proteins that follows.
Science 2012:336,1511-1513

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