Link could lead to new Alzheimer’s therapy
A newly discovered pathway of brain cell destruction linked to Alzheimer’s could lead to novel ways of treating the disease, scientists believe.
The process, called necroptosis, is triggered by inflammation and causes neurons to explode as their contents burst out through the cell wall.
It was already known to play a key role in multiple sclerosis (MS) and motor neurone disease (MND).
Researchers found evidence that necroptosis is closely associated with Alzheimer’s severity, mental decline, and loss of brain tissue.
Tests on mice with an Alzheimer’s-like brain disorder showed that blocking one of three proteins linked to the pathway reduced the death of neurons and improved performance in memory-related tasks.
US lead scientist Dr Salvatore Oddo, from Arizona State University, said: “We anticipate that our findings will spur a new area of Alzheimer’s disease research focused on further detailing the role of necroptosis and developing new therapeutic strategies aimed at blocking it.”