Amyloid beta in the brain of individuals with Alzheimer's disease

March 30, 2012

While there may not be a consensus whether deposition of amyloid beta contributes to Alzheimer's disease or is a consequence of it, there is agreement that something else is promoting the process. Other proteins are often co-deposited with amyloid beta including serum amyloid P component. Recent evidence has suggested that SAP is elevated in Alzheimer's disease. Researchers from Keele University have shown that physiologically-significant concentrations of SAP promote the deposition of amyloid beta under conditions approaching those found in vivo.

The deposition of amyloid beta in the brain of individuals with Alzheimer's disease is the focus of much research into both its cause and treatment.

While there may not be a as to whether the deposition contributes to the disease or is a consequence of the disease, there is agreement that it is not favoured thermodynamically, meaning that something else is promoting the process.

Other proteins are often co-deposited in vivo with amyloid beta and one such is serum amyloid P component (or SAP). Recent evidence has suggested that SAP is elevated in Alzheimer's disease and a team of researchers from Keele University in Staffordshire, UK, led by Professor Chris Exley, has shown that physiologically-significant concentrations of SAP promote the deposition of amyloid beta under conditions approaching those found in vivo.

Professor Exley said: "We have shown that SAP is bound by fibrils of amyloid beta and that this interaction stabilises the fibrils over timescales which are physiologically significant. This is the first example of a physiologically significant biomolecule promoting and stabilising the formation of amyloid of amyloid beta 42 under near-physiological conditions."

The group also found that this property of SAP was enhanced in the presence of , a metal which has also been shown to be co-deposited with amyloid beta in Alzheimer's disease. There have been recent efforts to reduce the plasma concentration of SAP as a therapy for Alzheimer's disease and the research provides strong evidence that SAP is involved in the deposition of amyloid beta 42 in Alzheimer's disease and that by reducing the concentration of SAP it might also reduce the deposition of amyloid beta. Their observations support P component as a therapeutic target in Alzheimer's disease.

Explore further: New findings contradict dominant theory in Alzheimer's disease

Related Stories

New findings contradict dominant theory in Alzheimer's disease

October 28, 2011
For decades the amyloid hypothesis has dominated the research field in Alzheimer's disease. The theory describes how an increase in secreted beta-amyloid peptides leads to the formation of plaques, toxic clusters of damaged ...

Recommended for you

BACE-Inhibitor successfully tested in Alzheimer's animal model

July 28, 2017
The protein amyloid beta is believed to be the major cause of Alzheimer's disease. Substances that reduce the production of amyloid beta, such as BACE inhibitors, are therefore promising candidates for new drug treatments. ...

Scientists use new data mining strategy to spot those at high Alzheimer's risk

July 28, 2017
The push to develop treatments for Alzheimer's disease has been a promising and disappointing endeavor over the past two decades, yielding a greater understanding of the disease yet still failing to generate successful new ...

Lifestyle changes to stave off Alzheimer's? Hints, no proof

July 20, 2017
There are no proven ways to stave off Alzheimer's, but a new report raises the prospect that avoiding nine key risks starting in childhood just might delay or even prevent about a third of dementia cases around the world.

Blood test identifies key Alzheimer's marker

July 19, 2017
A new study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that measures of amyloid beta in the blood have the potential to help identify people with altered levels of amyloid in their ...

Steering an enzyme's 'scissors' shows potential for stopping Alzheimer's disease

July 19, 2017
The old real estate adage about "location, location, location" might also apply to the biochemical genesis of Alzheimer's disease, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

Brain scans may change care for some people with memory loss

July 19, 2017
Does it really take an expensive brain scan to diagnose Alzheimer's? Not everybody needs one but new research suggests that for a surprising number of patients whose memory problems are hard to pin down, PET scans may lead ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.