WFY Today

Scientists Crack Brain Cell Death, New Hope For Alzheimer’s Cure.

Scientists in the UK have said that they have discovered the cause of the brain cell death that results in Alzheimer’s, raising the prospect of a brand-new class of medications that may one day treat the illness. The most frequent cause of dementia (a loss in mental abilities such as memory and thinking) is Alzheimer’s disease. Among its many complex causes is the amyloid and tau protein buildup in the brain, which results in the formation of plaques and tangles, tiny structures that impair brain function.
Additionally, there is a loss of neurons, or brain cells, which causes neural networks to malfunction and cause memory loss. Scientists have never before been able to connect the dots between those two processes and, consequently, how to stop the loss of neurons.
Researchers from University College London and KU Leuven in Belgium discovered a link between the accumulation of aberrant proteins and “necroptosis,” a similar form of cell suicide frequently performed by our bodies to get rid of unwanted cells.
The production of the MEG3 molecule by the brain cells causes cellular suicide as a result of the accumulation of amyloid plaques between neurons and the creation of tau tangles.
Scientists used genetically altered mice as research subjects and transplanted human brain cells into them. These animals produced a lot of amyloid, but the researchers were able to prevent cellular death by decreasing the production of MEG3.  “After years of discussion among scientists, the discovery explains “how and why neurons die in Alzheimer’s disease.” It “provides really strong evidence” of a “specific suicide pathway,” and
professor Bart De Strooper, a member of the research team, believes it might result in the creation of a “whole new line of drugs.”

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