The protein of Alzheimer’s disease spread in the brain like an infection
Published the 11.01.2018 at 07: 30
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“If the idea of a spread transneuronale is admitted, then the areas of the brain that are most connected to should have the greatest accumulation of tau and pass it on to their connections. It is as well as the main author Thomas Cope concludes his study published in the journal Brain. It is the same thing that we could see in an influenza epidemic : individuals with larger networks are more likely to catch the flu and then pass it on to others. This is exactly what we have seen.”
In Alzheimer’s disease, the brain region where the protein tau is first located in the area of the entorhinal cortex, near the hippocampus. This is why the first symptoms of the disease are memory problems. The study, recently published in the journal Brain, suggests that tau spreads in the brain by near, infecting and destroying the nerve cells, while worsening gradually the patient’s symptoms.
Stop the spread of tau
The spread transneuronale is one of the three assumptions that explain the distribution of tau proteins. The assumption of vulnerability to metabolic implies that the tau proteins are manufactured in the nerve cells and those that produce the most are those who are already infected. The assumption of a “trophic support” suggests that some brain areas are more sensitive than others and that it is related to a lack of vascularization and, therefore, on nutrition.
However, the observations of the researchers have not found evidence for these two hypotheses.
The origin of the disease take place in the progress of 2 types of protein, beta-amyloid and the protein tau.
The accumulation of these proteins beta-amyloid protein creates amyloid plaques outside the cells of the brain, while tau proteins accumulate inside neurons. These past eventually inhibit or even kill, brain cells in this way. Understand how tau spreads through the brain constitutes a challenge for future therapies. Such research could help to develop drugs that can stop the protein tau before they can progress through large areas of the brain.