Cell Death Mechanism Involved in Other Diseases Plays Role in Development of Alzheimer’s, Study Reports

Cell Death Mechanism Involved in Other Diseases Plays Role in Development of Alzheimer’s, Study Reports
A cell death mechanism linked to neuron loss in ALS and stroke also plays a role in neuron loss in Alzheimer's, a study reports. The insight could lead to ways to stop neuron death in Alzheimer's and to the development of therapies. Scientists have known that the cell death mechanism, necroptosis, plays a role in the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke and other neurodegenerative conditions. But until this Arizona State University study, they did not know it was linked to Alzheimer’s. The research, “Necroptosis activation in Alzheimer's disease,” was published in Nature Neuroscience. "We anticipate that our findings will spur a new area of Alzheimer's disease research focused on further detailing the role of necroptosis and developing new therapeutic strategies aimed at blocking it," Dr. Salvatore Oddo, the study’s senior researcher, said in a news release. Necroptosis causes neurons to burst from the inside out and die. The activation of three proteins —  RIPK1, RIPK3 and MLKL — triggers the damage. Researchers discovered that a cascade of events links the activation of the proteins to neuron death. "There is no doubt that the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease have fewer neurons," Oddo said. "The brain is much smaller and weighs less; it shrinks because neurons are dying. That has been known for 100 years, but until now, the mechanism wasn't understood." Using human brain tissue samples, the team observed that RIPK1 and RIPK3 bind together to form a structure called a necrosome that kicks off t
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