Monday, March 02, 2009

Alzheimer surprise

I was intrigued to read in the current issue of Nature that a genome-wide search for a receptor for the Alzheimer culprit A-beta has identified a protein notorious for another type of neurological disorder. Around half of the A beta binding has been attributed to the prion protein -- a misfolded version of which is the infectious principle in mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt Jacob disease (CJD).

It is still unclear how exactly the link between these two works, and what accounts for the other half, but this is definitely a big surprise that opens up new possibilities for Alzheimer research and ultimately for its therapy.

ref: J. Lauren et al., Nature 2009, 457, 1128

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