Researchers Discover Possible Cause for Alzheimer’s and Traumatic Brain Injury
The new mechanism may have also led to the discovery of an effective treatment
Rutgers researchers have discovered a new mechanism that may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury. They now hope to launch a clinical trial to test the treatment in humans.
What causes Alzheimer’s is unknown, but a popular theory suggests a protein known as amyloid-beta slowly builds up a plaque in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. But in a recent study Federico Sesti, a professor of neuroscience and cell biology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, looked at a new mechanism, which involves a non-amyloid-beta protein, a potassium channel referred to as KCNB1.
Under conditions of stress in a brain affected by Alzheimer’s, KCNB1 builds up and becomes toxic to neurons and then promotes the production of amyloid-beta. The build-up of KCNB1 channels is caused by a chemical process commonly known as oxidation.
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