Huge News for Alzheimer’s Research!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41971124/ns/health-alzheimers_disease/

There’s some huge news for individuals and their families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease!  We may be closing in on a cure quickly.  According to new findings, beta amyloid, the protein (or actually a multi-amino acid peptide) responsible for “plaque” buildup in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, may actually be produced in the liver.

Now, there’s different types of beta amyloid.  Everyone’s brain produces a certain amount of this protein; it actually may serve a purpose in regulating neuron synapses – signal functions across the brain’s neural network.  Healthy people who do not have Alzheimer’s Disease seem to be able to clear the beta amyloid out of their brains very quickly and consistently as more is developed.  However, individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s do not seem to be as efficient at clearing out this beta amyloid.  It lingers in the brain and begins to form a plaque which is damaging to the brain’s cells.  Scientists and researchers have focused on this brain beta amyloid for quite awhile and many unsuccessful approaches attempted.

Now, a recent study suggests that a type of beta amyloid is actually produced in the liver.  Researchers theorize that this beta amyloid may travel to the brain through the bloodstream and get clogged up there.  Obviously, there’s much more information that we need to uncover, such as how tau (the protein that forms tangles in the brain) fits into the picture, but this is very exciting for those of us who are interested in curing this disease forever.  It opens new doors for approaches to treatment including focusing on controlling beta amyloid production in the liver, not just the brain.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed this discovery leads to a cure!

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