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Treating cellular waste could 'stop Alzheimer's'

Treating cellular waste could 'stop Alzheimer's'
29th December 2010

Research has indicated that Alzheimer's disease could be stopped before it causes any lasting damage.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that by treating or reversing brain cell waste, scientists could stop dementia from taking hold.

In healthy people, biological waste is broken down by the lysosome in cells. However, if something goes wrong with this process, the toxins build up, causing cells to die.

This cellular waste includes protein amyloid beta, which has long been linked to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

Ralph A. Nixon, professor of psychiatry and cell biology at New York University's Langone Medical Center and the Nathan Kline Institute told the newspaper that experiments on mice have supported this theory.

"The sheer bulk of waste proteins that are accumulating within the neurons in Alzheimer's disease brains is enormous,'' he said.

Meanwhile, scientists from the Institute of Neurology, University College of London have discovered that by combining a lumbar puncture with an MRI brain scan, they can detect the tell-tale signs of Alzheimer's early.

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