A new study in mice at the University of Edinburgh, has revealed for the first time how two proteins work together to disrupt communication between brain cells. The research offers fresh insights into these proteins, which could help in the search for treatments for dementia. The hope is that this research will help us better understand how to stop the damage that the two proteins cause to the brain, helping scientists to potentially prevent or reverse dementia symptoms.
Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Amyloid and tau have long been considered the key players in Alzheimer’s disease. By focusing on the connections between cells in the brain, these researchers have highlighted the importance of understanding how – independently and together – these proteins damage nerve cells.
“Other research has shown that treating cognitive decline by targeting amyloid is very difficult, but this research emphasises that novel drugs that target tau could hold the key to reducing damage to the connections between cells.
“In the grand scheme of things, we know so little about the brain and how it changes in disease. This is why Alzheimer’s Society helped co-found the UK Dementia Research Institute, bringing together the best people in dementia research to make discoveries that will one day change peoples’ lives.
“Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes. It is only through research like this that we can understand what causes dementia, and we owe it to the 850,000 people in the UK currently living with dementia to develop effective treatments, improve care and one day to find a cure.”
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