AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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The Evolution of Amyloid Toxicity in Alzheimer's

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A tiny protein known as “amyloid beta” is suspected to be a key player in the neurodegenerative mechanisms underlying with Alzheimer’s disease. However, this protein can also be beneficial to the body. The shape of the protein dictates whether it is life-supporting or toxic to the patient. Once they touch and form bundles, the become toxic. However, once the bundles grow larger in size, they may become less toxic once again. What is the different about these bundles than the single protein molecule and the fibrils? “Determining the difference in shape was a challenge, however, because standard tools fail to decipher much about this shape-changing molecule,” explained Sudipta Maiti, who co-directed this research. “The power of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) couldn’t be applied, because the shape change involved is too fast to be captured by it.” Click here to read more.

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