Aberdeen uni researchers find key proteins present in early stages of Alzheimer’s

Researchers from Aberdeen have identified changes in the brains of those suffering early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

A University of Aberdeen study confirmed for the first time that two proteins, assumed to contribute to the disease process, are both present at very early stages of Alzheimer’s.

Both are present in an area of the brain that is involved in memory formation and information processing.

This research, funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, will have implications for the development of new drugs, but may also provide important information for diagnosis of the disease.

The team, led by Dr Koss and Professor Bettina Platt, used human brain samples provided by the Brains for Dementia Research platform to investigate changes in the brain at different stages of the disease.

The researchers developed novel ways to study two proteins (tau and amyloid), both associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and determined how each one contributed to the onset, progression and symptoms of the disease.

Dr Koss said: “The entire research community is in agreement that it is a primary challenge to identify Alzheimer’s disease early – and our findings will go some way to help achieve this.

“These early-stage changes in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease highlight key biochemical processes that may not only enable improved diagnostic procedures but may also inform drug development.”

Meanwhile, new research reveals that a new blood cancer drug trialled at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) can reduce the risk of a type of cancer known as follicular lymphoma.

The study, presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in San Diego, found that when combined with chemotherapy, Gazyvaro reduces the progression of the disease or risk of death by 34%.

The study also found that 92% of patients receiving the drug showed no detectable sign of disease in the blood or bone marrow.

“City researchers offer fresh hope”, Page 24

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