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Alzheimer's brain drug target discovered

Alzheimer's brain drug target discovered
23rd December 2010

A drug target in the brain that could revolutionise the treatment of Alzheimer's has been identified, researchers say.

Scientists from the University of Illinois have discovered the receptor embedded in the membrane of neurons and other cells, which is activated by a protein fragment linked to Alzheimer's disease.

Amyloid Beta has long been thought to be key in research of Alzheimer's disease, with plaques in the brain of patients made up almost entirely from the protein fragment.

Study leaders emphasised that the beta-2 adrenergic receptor is most probably not the only factor in the brain damage that occurs within Alzheimer's patients but that it could be a promising target for future drug research.

Meanwhile, scientists from the Institute of Neurology, University College of London, have found that by combining a lumbar puncture with a MRI brain scan, they are able to predict Alzheimer's early on.

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