The research was carried out by an international team comprising academics from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Lund University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Tallinn University.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of a number of conditions caused by naturally occurring protein molecules folding into the wrong shape and then or nucleating with other proteins to create thin filamentous structures called amyloid fibrils. Proteins perform important functions in the body by folding into a particular shape, but sometimes they can misfold, potentially kick-starting this deadly process
These researchers have found a molecule that can block the progress of Alzheimer’s disease at a crucial stage in its development, called ‘Brichos’. ‘Brichos’ is a molecule which has been shown to be effective at inhibiting the mechanisms which trigger the aggregation of the amyloid beta proteins. ‘Brichos’ prevents the amyloid fibrils from coming into contact with other proteins, thereby helping to avoid the formation of highly toxic clusters that enable the condition to proliferate in the brain.
By discovering this molecule, scientists have moved closer to identifying a substance that could eventually be used to treat the disease.
This breakthrough is certainly a very exciting finding, but it must be stressed that this study is still in its infancy and more research is required before ‘Brichos’ can be considered a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers have now planned to undertake more studies to confirm their findings.
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