Link between two key Alzheimer’s proteins explained

It’s a paradox of Alzheimer’s disease: Plaques of the sticky protein amyloid beta are the most characteristic sign in the brain of the deadly neurodegenerative disease. However, many older people have such plaques in their brains but do not have dementia.

The memory loss and confusion of Alzheimer’s instead is associated with tangles of a different brain protein – known as tau – that show up years after the plaques first form. The link between amyloid and tau has never been entirely clear. But now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that people with more amyloid in their brains also produce more tau.

The findings, available March 21 in the journal Neuron, could lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s, based on targeting the production of tau. Read more.

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Is There a Link Between Aluminum and Alzheimer’s?

Aluminum is an element abundantly present in the earth. It occurs naturally in food and water and is widely used in products ranging from cans and cookware to medications and cosmetics. Some observational studies suggested a link between brain levels of aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease. Since the association was found, many studies have investigated whether aluminum increases the risk for Alzheimer’s. The findings are far from clear. Read more.

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CITICOLINE

Citicoline (also known as CDP-choline; cytidine 5′-diphosphocholine) is a naturally occurring compound and a building block of cell membranes. It is a common ingredient in supplements marketed for brain support. In Alzheimer’s disease, choline levels decrease; this affects the brain cell’s ability to produce acetyl-choline, a neurotransmitter important for memory. Read more.

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