Friday, July 23, 2010

Major breakthrough in Alzheimer research

Researchers from the University of Sydney's Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease Laboratory have achieved a major breakthrough by finding the causes of Alzheimer's disease at a cellular level and thereby identifying a potential therapy as a result.

The groundbreaking new study led by Professor Jürgen Götz and Dr Lars Ittner, based at the University's Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI), is published today in the prestigious international scientific journal Cell.

The researchers have discovered how a protein called TAU affects and mediates the toxicity of amyloid-b, which together with TAU causes the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Professor Götz said this significant breakthrough made by Dr Ittner and their team has implications for how the disease develops and how it may be treated.

"Alzheimer's disease is a major health threat to Australia's aging population," he said.

"More than 250,000 Australians are currently diagnosed with dementia, with numbers reaching epidemic proportions. Of all diseases with a memory loss, Alzheimer's is the most prevalent, predicted to affect one in 85 people globally by 2050."

"The main clinical feature of Alzheimer's disease is a progressive loss of cognition, accompanied by aggression and mood disturbance, and eventually, the patients need to be institutionalised. The toll of Alzheimer's disease on the patients, their families and the caretakers is enormous. And unfortunately, to date Alzheimer's disease is incurable."

Source and More:

The Alzheimer's Answer: Reduce Your Risk and Keep Your Brain Healthy
Relaxing Piano Artists for Alzheimer's Research
The Forgetting - A Portrait of Alzheimer's

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