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Researchers claim to have uncovered cause of Alzheimer's

Researchers claim to have uncovered cause of Alzheimer's
13th March 2008

Researchers claim to have found the key to understanding the cause of Alzheimer's-related memory loss.

A team from the Buck Institute believe that Alzheimer's patients' brains become "stuck" in the process of culling inconsequential memories – resulting in "throwing the balance of making and breaking memories seriously off kilter", reports the Daily Mail.

The team concluded that Alzheimer's patients memory loss is "hyper-activated" – caused by increasingly frequent 'splitting' of a brain tissue molecule called amyloid precursor protein.

Initial tests showed that youngsters displayed ten times as much of the splitting event as Alzheimer's patients; however, Alzheimer's patients experienced more splitting than participants of the same age who did not suffer from the condition.

"Young brains operate like Ferraris – shifting between forward and reverse, making and breaking memories with a facility that surpasses that of older brains, which are less plastic," researcher leader Dr Dale Bredesen told the publication.

According to the Alzheimer's Society, there will be over a million people with dementia living in the UK by 2025.

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