'Foreign' proteins are also implicated in Alzheimer's disease, implications for differentiated treatments

September 24, 2012
'Foreign' proteins are also implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, implications for differentiated treatments

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's are characterised by the loss of nerve cells and the deposition of proteins in the brain tissue. A group of researchers led by Gabor G. Kovacs from the Clinical Institute of Neurology at the MedUni Vienna has now demonstrated that Alzheimer's disease does not just – as previously believed – involve the proteins that are attributed to Alzheimer's, but instead the condition can involve a mixture of interacting proteins from different neurodegenerative diseases. 

"As a result, Alzheimer's should not be treated in isolation. According to these latest findings, pure, classical Alzheimer's disease, which involves only the attributed proteins tau and , appears not to be the norm," says Kovacs. There is also a varied regional distribution of nerve cell loss and protein deposits between patients which, taken together, have clinical prognostic significance. As a consequence of this, differentiated strategies need to be developed for personalised therapy that takes account of all the interacting factors.

The new treatment concepts which are currently being developed by the MedUni Vienna's neuropathologists, neurobiologists, neurologists, psychiatrists and neuroimaging experts will divide the patients into "sub-groups". Says Kovacs: "The aim is to define these groups very precisely in future in order to be able to offer them personalised treatment."

Dementia diseases: a growing trend

Around 100,000 Austrians are currently suffering from a dementia-related illness, according to statistics from the Austrian Alzheimer Society. According to estimates, this figure will rise to around 280,000 by 2050 as a result of the increasing age of the general population. Alzheimer's disease is responsible for 60 to 80 per cent of these conditions.

The global Alzheimer's report by "Alzheimer's Disease International" reckons that the prevalence of dementia doubles every 20 years. There are currently around 35 million people worldwide suffering a dementia-related illness. By 2030, their number will rise to 65.7 million and reach as many as 115.4 million by 2050.

Explore further: Alzheimer's disease: preventative measures can delay onset

Related Stories

Alzheimer's disease: preventative measures can delay onset

September 21, 2012
"We cannot prevent Alzheimer's, but we can delay the onset of the disease until an advanced age with the right measures," says Peter Dal-Bianco, Alzheimer's expert from the MedUni Vienna's University Department of Neurology ...

New clues to the cause of Alzheimer's disease

June 30, 2011
Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, have identified a series of novel proteins in human cerebrospinal fluid. The proteins, which carry specific sugar molecules, are found in greater concentrations ...

Alzheimer's vaccine cures memory of mice

December 9, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- A vaccine that slows the progression of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia has been developed by researchers at the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI).

Recommended for you

Noninvasive eye scan could detect key signs of Alzheimer's years before patients show symptoms

August 17, 2017
Cedars-Sinai neuroscience investigators have found that Alzheimer's disease affects the retina—the back of the eye—similarly to the way it affects the brain. The study also revealed that an investigational, noninvasive ...

Could olfactory loss point to Alzheimer's disease?

August 16, 2017
By the time you start losing your memory, it's almost too late. That's because the damage to your brain associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) may already have been going on for as long as twenty years. Which is why there ...

New Machine Learning program shows promise for early Alzheimer's diagnosis

August 15, 2017
A new machine learning program developed by researchers at Case Western Reserve University appears to outperform other methods for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease before symptoms begin to interfere with every day living, initial ...

Brain scan study adds to evidence that lower brain serotonin levels are linked to dementia

August 14, 2017
In a study looking at brain scans of people with mild loss of thought and memory ability, Johns Hopkins researchers report evidence of lower levels of the serotonin transporter—a natural brain chemical that regulates mood, ...

Alzheimer's risk linked to energy shortage in brain's immune cells

August 14, 2017
People with specific mutations in the gene TREM2 are three times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those who carry more common variants of the gene. But until now, scientists had no explanation for the link.

Scientists reveal role for lysosome transport in Alzheimer's disease progression

August 7, 2017
Researchers from Yale University School of Medicine have discovered that defects in the transport of lysosomes within neurons promote the buildup of protein aggregates in the brains of mice with Alzheimer's disease. The study, ...

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.