Tangled Protein 'May Spread Alzheimers' through Brain'
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8 June 2009
Scientists have claimed that the transmission of abnormal proteins that form tangles in cells may explain how Alzheimer’s disease spreads throughout the brain of a patient.
“We’ve shown how it probably progresses within an individual person,” Michel Goedert, who led a team at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, was quoted by the ‘New Scientist’ as saying.
The scientists demonstrated the key role played by the “Tau” protein tangles by injecting the brains of healthy mice with brain material from mice which make the abnormal form of the protein.
By the end of the experiment, the tangles had spread beyond the sites where they had originally been injected to many distant parts of the brain, the team found.
Because the healthy mice were incapable of making the tau tangles themselves, the only explanation is that the tangles somehow spread or dispersed to neighbouring tissue from the site where they were injected.