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Brain protein may control Alzheimer's

Brain protein may control Alzheimer's
26th January 2012

A protein that has recently been discovered may hold the key to controlling Alzheimer's, according to a recent study.

Researchers at Temple University have discovered that the presence of the protein 12/15-Lipoxygenase in the brain could help to regulate the creation of amyloid beta - the major component of plaques that cause Alzheimer's disease.

The presence of the protein was first discovered three years ago but researchers were unsure as to its role in the development of disease.

However, the group led by Professor Domenico Pratico has now discovered that the protein is at the "top of a pathway and controls a biochemical chain reaction that begins the development of Alzheimer's".

Professor Pratico explains: "By working too much, it sends the wrong message to the Beta secretase, which in turn starts to produce more amyloid beta."

This initially causes cognitive impairment in patients, before memory impairment and the increase of amyloid plaque.

The protein 12/15-lipoxygenase has also been found to cause lipid peroxides in GPX4-depleted cells, which results in cell death.

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