Monday, December 22, 2008

Two cardiovascular proteins pose a double whammy in Alzheimer's

e! Science News
health and Medicine
Researchers have found that two proteins which work in tandem in the brain's blood vessels present a double whammy in Alzheimer's disease. Not only do the proteins lessen blood flow in the brain, but they also reduce the rate at which the brain is able to remove amyloid beta, the protein that builds up in toxic quantities in the brains of patients with the disease. The work, described in a paper published online Dec. 21 in the journal Nature Cell Biology, provides hard evidence directly linking two processes thought to be at play in Alzheimer's disease: reduction in blood flow and the buildup of toxic amyloid beta. The research makes the interaction between the two proteins a seductive target for researchers seeking to address both issues.

Scientists were surprised at the finding, which puts two proteins known for their role in the cardiovascular system front and center in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

"This is quite unexpected," said Berislav Zlokovic, M.D., Ph.D., a neuroscientist and a senior author of the study. "On the other hand, both.... read the whole story

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