Alzheimer’s Disease Missing Link Discovered



Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have discovered the missing link in the complicated chain of events that lead to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The research, reported in the journal Neuron, has been able to pinpoint the exact protein that has been missing from our understanding of the disease and it’s biochemical pathway.

In mice studies, the study team blocked the action of a protein with an existing drug (currently used for other brain problems) and found that memory was restored in the test subjects. The discovery is made even more exciting by the fact that this protein is easily targeted by drugs.

For years most of the process surrounding the onset of Alzheimer’s has been mapped out, but this elusive missing link has remained. This has made it hard to develop medications for Alzheimer’s as we have not really been sure what we are up against. The reaction in question here is between amyloid-beta peptides and prion proteins which couple together on the surface of neurons. This coupling activity activates a molecular messenger within the cell called Fyn. The protein getting in the way of this pathway which was identified by this study is called metabotropic glutamate receptor S (mGluRS).

Now researchers have a specific target, it is hoped that a medication can be developed which will help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

To read more about this research, please click here:

Image of a neuron is provided courtesy of and David Dwire © Rainbow Studios ‘00


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