UCLA Study Yields Better Understanding of Amyloid Toxicity

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

According to the amyloid hypothesis, a primary culprit driving cognitive decline in Alzheimer's patients is the presence of amyloid beta protein oligomers that aggregate into toxic plaques in the brain. A study out of UCLA and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shed new light on the relative toxicity among oligomers of different sizes and structures.

This new understanding showed that size matters with larger oligomers being more toxic than smaller ones. Importantly, the structure of the oligomers was more important than size in determining toxicity. In fact, toxicity increased exponentially as the structure of the underlying oligomer became more complex.

This new understanding could be greatly beneficial to researchers seeking novel treatment strategies for Alzheimer's disease. By targeting amyloid in its most toxic forms, researchers may be closer to developing more effective treatments.

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