Scientists have identified a protein which they believe is involved in the complicated chain of events that lead to Alzheimer's disease.
The research published in the journal Neuron today (Wednesday 4 September 2013), found that blocking the protein restored memory in mice.
The researchers at Yale School of Medicine identified the protein called metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5). They describe it as another protein in the chain of proteins that build up in the brain and subsequently cause reduced communication between brain cells and a cognitive deficit. It is hoped that new drugs may be able to specifically target mGluR5 to break the chain of events that lead to Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's Society comment:
'This study helps us to understand more about the processes that lead to the development of Alzheimer's disease. Although it is promising that this process can be blocked in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, more research is needed to understand why this is the case, and whether the same benefits would be seen in humans.
One in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia before they die, and yet dementia research is hugely underfunded. We need to fund more research to better understand the causes of dementia and work to develop better treatments'
Research Communications Officer
Reference: Stephen Strittmatter et al. 'Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 5 Is a Coreceptor for Alzheimer Aβ Oligomer Bound to Cellular Prion Protein' in Neuron