Research at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology has taken advantage of a “resolution revolution” in microscopy to uncover the atomic structure of Tau filaments (one of the two types of the abnormal tangles associated with Alzheimer’s Disease).
“Tau forms filaments inside nerve cells and amyloid-beta forms filaments outside cells”.
Understanding the structures of these filaments promises to provide the key to assisting more targeted development of drugs designed to prevent or delay the progression of this disease.
“This research opens up new possibilities to study a range of other diseases where the accumulation of abnormal protein filaments plays a role, including Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disease and prion diseases”.
Scientists uncover the structure of tau filaments from Alzheimer’s disease. [Online]: Medical Research Council (MRC), July 5th 2017.
Gallagher, J. (2017). Sharp focus on Alzheimer’s may help target drugs. London: BBC Health News, July 5th 2017.
This relates to:
Fitzpatrick, AWP. Falcon, B. [and] He, S. [et al] (2017). Cryo-EM structures of Tau filaments from Alzheimer’s disease. Nature. July 5th 2017. [Epub ahead of print].
The following NHS Choices Behind the Headlines piece offers a due sense of perspective.
Researchers try to unknot Alzheimer’s protein tangles. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, July 6th 2017.