[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 4, November 2011].
The Daily Express reported a major breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research which could one day assist in early detection of the disease and help in the development of potential new treatments. The research into amyloid beta protein (linked to Alzheimer’s disease) looked at genetically modified yeast and identified the genes that appear to alter the toxic effect of amyloid beta (in worms and rat brain cells).
Experimentation on the yeast showed how amyloid beta disrupts a process called endocytosis (i.e. the take-up and transport of substances within cells). The genes involved in endocytosis are known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. This research demonstrates why certain genes are likely genetic risk factors.
Note: This is early research and further confirmatory research using human cells is awaited. New treatments and diagnostic tools based on these findings are some years away.
Alzheimer’s, yeasts and other animals. London: NHS Choices, October 28 2011.
Full Text Link (b) Note: A journal subscription or suitable password is required to access this article.
Treusch, S. Hamamichi, S. [and] Goodman, JL. [et al] (2011). Functional Links Between Aβ Toxicity, Endocytic Trafficking, and Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Factors in Yeast. Science, 2011, Published online ahead of print October 27th 2011. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).