On Alzheimer's Progression

ScienceDaily reports on a possible biochemical mechanism for the early progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD): "People with AD exhibit elevated levels of beta-amyloid peptides that cause plaque buildup in the brain (the main characteristic of AD). In the earliest stages of Alzheimer's, beta-amyloid peptides are on the rise, especially in the two connected brain regions critical for memory functions - the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. ... one reason for that early increase of beta-amyloid peptides: an enzyme that breaks down beta-amyloid peptides, also referred to as an insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE), is not active in the brain in the cases at high-risk for developing AD. ... researchers suggest that boosting IDE activity pharmacologically may reverse beta-amyloid peptide accumulation." This may tie in with recent research suggesting Alzheimer's to be a form of diabetes.

Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060706083004.htm


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