breaking latest news – The formation of amyloid plaques in the brain is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. But drugs designed to reduce buildups of these plaques have so far yielded, at best, mixed results in clinical trials. Yale researchers have discovered, however, that swelling caused by a byproduct of these plaques may be the real cause of the disease’s debilitating symptoms..
And they identified a biomarker that could help doctors better diagnose Alzheimer’s and provide a target for future therapies. The news is reported today in the journal Nature.
According to their results, any plaque formation can causes a buildup of spheroid-shaped swellings along hundreds of axons — the thin cellular threads that connect neurons in the brain — near deposits of amyloid plaque.
The swellings are caused by the gradual buildup of organelles within cells known as lysosomeswhich are known to digest cellular waste, the researchers found.
As the bumps get bigger, the researchers say, they can blunt the transmission of normal electrical signals from one brain region to another. This accumulation of spheroids, the researchers say, causes swelling along the axons, which in turn triggers the devastating effects of dementia.
“We have identified a potential Alzheimer’s signature that has functional implications for brain circuitry, normalized the electrical conduction of axons and improved the function of neurons in brain regions connected by these axons. The researchers say PLD3 may be used as a marker in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease risk and provide a target for future therapies.