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Increase in brain enzyme 'could slow Alzheimer's progression'

Increase in brain enzyme 'could slow Alzheimer's progression'
17th February 2011

Increasing a brain peptidase could slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, new findings have indicated.

Research found that increasing puromycin-sensitive aminopeptidase (PSA/NPEPPS) in mammals slowed the accumulation of tau proteins that are toxic to nerve cells and lead to neurofibrillary tangles - a major trait seen in those with Alzheimer's.

Published in journal Human Molecular Genetics, these findings suggest that by increasing the PSA/NPEPPS in the brain, scientists could slow down the progression of Alzheimer's without triggering any unwanted side effects.

 "[The therapy] may be a feasible therapeutic approach to eliminate the accumulation of unwanted toxic proteins, such as tau, that cause the neural degeneration associated with the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia."

Meanwhile, professor Daniel Michaelson of Tel Aviv University has said that a diet high in omega 3 oils and low in cholesterol could help reduce the chance of developing Alzheimer's disease.

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