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Discovery of mechanism in the early stages of Alzheimer’s paves the way for new treatments
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Researchers at the Center for Brain and Disease Research VIB-KU Leuven have made a relevant discovery about the early stages of Alzheimer's. The study carried out by researchers in Belgium identified a mechanism that occurs before the formation of protein plaques in the brain, paving the way for more efficient treatments against this health problem that affects millions of people.

The challenges of Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease is one of the common reasons for around 65% of all dementia cases worldwide, with projections of affecting 139 million people by 2050, according to the WHO. Despite its prevalence, there are few effective treatments to stop or reverse its symptoms, and the underlying causes are not yet fully understood.

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The focus of research has been the formation of protein plaques, mainly beta-amyloid, in the brain. These plaques accumulate in patients with the disease, damaging neurons and contributing to the cognitive decline typical of Alzheimer's.

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Initial mechanisms to aid discovery

Belgian researchers have discovered a molecule that disrupts communication between crucial parts of the cell, such as calcium storage and waste elimination, preceding the formation of protein plaques and the death of neuronal cells. Preventing the accumulation of the molecule, APP-CTF, may be key to developing more effective treatments.


Doctor observing an image of a brain (Photo: reproduction/Freepik/DC Studio)


Implications of the discovery

APP-CTF accumulates in neurons and lodges between the endoplasmic reticulum and lysosomes, affecting calcium balance and the ability of lysosomes to break down waste. This discovery, which predates the formation of amyloid plaques and the symptoms of the disease, may provide new insights into the early neuronal dysfunctions associated with Alzheimer's, driving the development of more effective strategies to treat the disease.

In summary, this discovery that precedes the formation of amyloid plaques and the emergence of disease symptoms may provide new insights into the earliest neuronal dysfunctions associated with Alzheimer's. Researchers believe these findings could boost the development of more effective strategies to prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease.

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Featured photo: Doctor looking at a CT scan of a brain (Reproduction/Freepik)

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Discovery of mechanism in the early stages of Alzheimer’s paves the way for new treatments

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Discovery of mechanism in the early stages of Alzheimer’s paves the way for new treatments

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