Balancing proteins could change Alzheimer's care

Alzheimer's disease involves various proteins and one of these can be used to counterbalance the effects of the agent that causes brain damage in people who need memory care.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered that the dangerous protein called beta-amyloid could possibly be controlled using another protein called Reelin.

Balancing proteins could change Alzheimer's care Beta-amyloid is supposed to prevent nerve cells from getting too excited. Alzheimer's patients, however, have an excess of the protein, which causes them to become less and less responsive.

"If we can identify a mechanism to keep the nerve cells functioning strongly, that might provide a way to fight Alzheimer's disease," said one of the center's doctors named Joachim Herz.

During the study, Reelin was applied to the brains of mice in order to protect nerves from a dangerous accumulation of beta-amyloid. In this context, Reelin can be thought of as a green light and beta-amyloid as a red.

The study received financial support from the National Institutes of Health, the American Health Assistance Foundation, the Perot Family Foundation and the Humboldt Foundation.

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