Novel Culture System Replicates Alzheimer’s Disease Development; Confirms Amyloid Hypothesis; Should Significantly Reduce Drug Development Time/Cost

Novel Culture System Replicates Alzheimer’s Disease Development; Confirms Amyloid Hypothesis; Should Significantly Reduce Drug Development Time/Cost
An innovative laboratory culture system developed by an international team of investigators led by scientists of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) provides the first clear evidence supporting the hypothesis that deposition of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain is the first step in a cascade of events underlying development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Using a novel three-dimensional culture system, the Mass. General scientists have succeeded, for the first time, in reproducing the full course of the devastating neurodegenerative disease's development, and also identify the essential role in that process of a particular enzyme, the inhibition of which could be a therapeutic target. TanziR"Originally put forth in the mid-1980s, the amyloid hypothesis maintained that beta-amyloid deposits in the brain set off all subsequent events the neurofibrillary tangles that choke the insides of neurons, neuronal cell death, and inflammation leading to a vicious cycle of massive cell death," says Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, director of the MGH Genetics and Aging Research Unit and co-senior author of the report receiving advance online publication in the journal Nature in a Mass. General release. "One of the biggest questions since then has been whether beta-amyloid actually triggers the formation of the tangle
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