Alzheimer's Breakthrough Sheds New Light on the Disease

If you suffer from Alzheimer's or know that a loved one is struggling with the condition, it's important to note that new scientific breakthroughs may provide the public with key insights regarding the disease. Learn more about the efforts of researchers and how their findings could revolutionize the approach to curing the disease by reviewing the following outline:

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Beta-Amyloid And Alzheimer's Disease: A Brief Overview

To fully understand the scientific breakthroughs that have transpired in the field of Alzheimer's research, one must first grasp the relevance of beta-amyloid within this sector. As Lund University's researchers understand, toxic clumps of beta-amyloid are believed to be the root cause of Alzheimer's. In the past, researchers thought that beta-amyloid should be eliminated. However, new findings indicate that the protein should be stabilized. 

The History Of Beta-Amyloid

For quite some time, members of the scientific community have thought that beta-amyloid appeared almost immediately in cases of Alzheimer's. It is for this reason that the phrase "popcorn plaques" was coined. Now, however, infrared spectroscopy images reveal information that contradicts this basic assumption. Specifically, researchers are now able to note molecular, structural changes that take place in the brain. 

In discussing the images, professor of experimental neurology Gunnar Gouras notes that the findings demonstrates that the progression of Alzheimer's is slower than was originally thought. Moreover, there are steps in the progression of the disease that researchers new little about. 

Breakthrough Findings Regarding Beta-Amyloid

One particularly important finding regarding the stages of progression in Alzheimer's was noted by Oxana Klementieva. Klementieva found that the beta-amyloid did not appear as one peptide. Rather, the plaque was a unit consisting of four peptides stuck together. The peptide sequence is referred to as a tetramer.

The breakthrough regarding the structure of the beta-amyloid plaque was the cause of a new hypothesis regarding the disease. Specifically, researchers believe that the abnormal separation of the four peptides might be the catalyst for the beta-amyloid aggregation which leads into plaque formation.

Alzheimer's Disease And Transthyretin Amyloidosis: Making The Connection

Researchers are excited about their findings and are comparing their results to what transpires in another amyloid disease. This disease is referred to as transthyretin amyloidosis. Studies indicate that a key factor in the development of this condition is the breaking up of the tetramer. At this point, there is a drug that can slow down the progression of the disease by stabilizing the tetramers. In recognizing this reality, researchers hope that stabilizing beta-amyloid can be integrated into the development of future therapies. Ultimately, the findings of the study mean that the form and content of the therapy development process for Alzheimer's may be modified and optimized to generate more substantive results. 

Other Areas Of Research Interest For Alzheimer's Disease

Another aspect of the Alzheimer development process that Lund University researchers are interested in is the interaction patterns of beta-amyloid prior to the aggregation process. Specifically, researchers want to find an antidote to what breaks the beta-amyloid protein apart. Findings could generate insights regarding how to develop effective therapies for the disease.

Embracing Holistic Health

Learning more about research breakthroughs regarding Alzheimer's disease can inspire hope regarding the human ability to cure troublesome conditions and embrace a greater level of mental and physical well-being. When you start thinking about steps you can take to attain a holistically healthy life, be sure to consider the role that your physical environment can play in contributing to overall wellness. Purchasing a Carmel home, for example, would enable you to reside in one of the healthiest states in the country: California. Note that by living in a Carmel home, you'll be within close proximity to a wide range of outdoor activities and beautiful, sandy beaches. Thus if you're considering moving for retirement or simply to adopt a healthier lifestyle, be sure to keep this region of the country in mind. 

Summing It All Up 

It's exciting to know that scientific research can yield substantive knowledge about how best to modify and cure diseases. Recent studies now indicate that stabilizing the beta-amyloid protein, as opposed to eliminating it, may be the key to slowing down its progression. Be sure to keep this information in mind as you consider strategies that you and your loved ones can use to fight this condition and lead a healthy, happy life!


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