AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Designer Protein Gives New Hope to Scientists Studying Alzheimer's Disease

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A new protein which will help scientists to understand why nerve cells die in people with Alzheimer’s disease has been designed in a University of Sussex laboratory. In people with Alzheimer’s, Amyloid-beta (Abeta) proteins stick together to make amyloid fibers which form clumps between neurons in the brain. It is believed the build-up of these clumps causes brain cells to die, leading to the cognitive decline in patients suffering from the disease. Now, the University of Sussex scientists have created a new protein which closely resembles the Abeta protein in size and shape but contains two different amino acids (the building blocks that proteins are made up of). These changes mean that the new protein does not form amyloid fibres or sticky clumps and, unlike Abeta, is not toxic to nerve cells. To read more, click here.

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