Link could lead to new Alzheimer’s ther­apy

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By JOHN VON RADOWITZ

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.”

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