Breakthrough in understanding Alzheimer s

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Researchers have stumbled upon an alternate explanation for the buildup of the protein amyloid β in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients. A study published in the journal Science yesterday compared the rate at which the brains of 12 people with Alzheimer’s disease and an equal number of healthy participants both produced and removed amyloid β, whose accumulation is an indicator of the disease. The authors found that while there was no difference in amyloid β production rates between the two groups, the Alzheimer’s group exhibited a 30 percent lower rate of amyloid β clearance.

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross notes that Alzheimer’s presents “a tremendous burden upon patients and their families, with a likelihood of a huge increase in its incidence as the population ages. Therefore, any fundamental breakthrough in understanding the disease is enormously important and welcome news. Here may be a very significant opening towards methods of early detection and ultimately prevention.”