- Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Research published this week has identified a gene called Hes1, which appears to protect nerve cells from the toxic effects of the hallmark Alzheimer’s protein, amyloid. The study is published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy.
Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:
“Understanding what causes the loss of brain cells in Alzheimer’s is a key goal for the development of new treatments for this devastating disease. This study highlights an important molecular chain of events blocked by the hallmark Alzheimer’s protein amyloid. The results show that restoring the activity of this cascade could protect nerve cells in the lab against the toxic effects of amyloid.
“While there may be a long way to go before these findings could be turned into a potential new treatments in people, this kind of early stage research is vital for helping us piece together the puzzle. There are more than half a million people in the UK living with Alzheimer’s disease and that number is expected to rise. There must be a concerted effort to make research into dementia a national priority and secure long-term investment for research.”
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