A third ‘partner in crime’ in Alzheimer’s disease

Amyloid and tau are the two major proteins shown to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. New research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2014 shows that the build-up of a third protein, TDP-43, may also cause memory and thinking problems.

Posted on 16th July 2014

Amyloid and tau are the two major proteins shown to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. New research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2014 shows that the build-up of a third protein, TDP-43, may also cause memory and thinking problems. In a study of nearly 350 post-mortem brain samples, those people with high levels of TDP-43 were 10 times more likely to have worse problems with cognition at the time of death.

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:

“This study adds to the growing evidence that there are other critical proteins, besides amyloid and tau that drive the damage seen in Alzheimer’s. Understanding more about the biological processes underlying memory loss is critical for developing ways to find an effective treatment to stop damage to nerve cells. With no treatments available that can slow or stop Alzheimer’s, there is a desperate need for more research into the disease and for this research to be translated into benefits for those affected.”

Posted in Science news