Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Unravelling the tangles behind Alzheimer's disease

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal have made a significant discovery in the biochemistry of Alzheimer's disease. The disease is caused when tau proteins - which are a normal part of the brain and central nervous system - get out of control and form tangles that are the main cause of Alzheimer's. Scientists have found that tau proteins in normal brains have only three or four proteins attached to them whereas tau proteins in the brains of people with Alzheimer's can have anything from 21 to 25 additional phosphates. The research team at McGill University have now discovered that it is the addition of a single phosphate to the Ser202 amino acid within the tau brain protein that is the principal culprit responsible for Alzheimer's.

No comments: