A recently released study from the University of California-Riverside may for the first time confirm the causal factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
“Researchers at the University of California- Riverside (UCR) recently published results from a study that looked at a protein called tau. By studying the different forms tau proteins take, researchers discovered the difference between people who developed dementia and those who didn’t.
The tau protein was critical for researchers because they wanted to understand what the protein could reveal about the mechanism behind plaques and tangles, two critical indicators doctors look for when diagnosing people with Alzheimer’s.
By analyzing donated brain samples, researchers found that those with brain buildup, like plaques and tangles, but had no dementia had a normal form of tau. However, those who had a “different-handed” form of tau and developed plaques or tangles did have dementia.”
Those “plaques or tangles” can build up in cells instead of being properly disassembled by normal cell processes. It’s believed that this buildup is the cause of Alzheimer’s. So what does this mean in the short term? Likely nothing immediate, but this sort of research could be foundational to a test or treatment down the road.
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