HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Disease Mechanism In Hereditary Dementia Discovered: Treatment Implications Seen For Alzheimer's And Other Neurodegenerative Diseases

A new study led by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center reveals pivotal characteristics of the disease mechanism underlying a hereditary dementia similar to and often confused clinically with Alzheimer's disease. With a clearer view of the pathology involved, the development of drug therapies to counter the problem becomes possible. Indeed, candidate compounds are already being appraised in the laboratory for their therapeutic potential.

A report on the study appears in the December 4 issue of Science.

The research team investigated a dementia linked to more than 10 different genetic flaws on chromosome 17 known as frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism (FTDP-17). They found that, in FTDP-17, mutant versions of a protein called tau are unable to fulfill one of the protein's crucial roles, which is to stabilize structural elements in neurons called microtubules. In addition to shoring up the scaffolding of a cell, microtubules also form the basis of an intracellular transport system -- especially important in neurons, which have extensions called axons that can reach a full meter through the body. With microtubule assembly disrupted, these cells can die.

"The bottom line here is that there is loss of tau function with these mutations, and the function of tau is to stabilize microtubules," says Virginia M.-Y. Lee, PhD, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and senior author on the study. "In neurons, with their long, delicate axons, microtubules are extremely important not only as structural entities but also as a kind of railroad along which the cells move various materials critical to their survival."

The tau protein is also the main component of the abnormal tangles in neurons that, along with amyloid plaques, define Alzheimer's disease. Tau tangles are seen in other dementing diseases, too, such as Pick's disease. Prior to this study, however, scientists had been unable to
'"/>

Contact: Franklin Hoke
hokef@mail.med.upenn.edu
215-349-5659
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
3-Dec-1998


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Disease diagnosis, drug development focus of UH profs biochip research
2. Disease-resistant papaya saves Hawaiian papaya industry
3. APS Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Translational Research Conference, Sept. 8-11
4. 1st International Conference on Cell Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease
5. Disease threatens cucumbers, pumpkins, and other vine crops
6. Disease-fighters in our mouths provide clues to enhancing the immune system
7. International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
8. NIH establishes Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network
9. Shedding Light on Disease: A Briefing for Journalists
10. Disease-causing genetic mutations in sperm increase with mens age
11. World Congress on Huntingtons Disease to meet in Toronto, August 16-19, 2003

Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/17/2014)... . Our eyes ... us with a continuous stream of information about our own ... in a car the world glides by us and ... effort, our brain calculates self-motion from this "optic flow". This ... gaze during our own movements. Together with biologists from the ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... years ago, Katia Silvera , a postdoctoral scholar at ... a field trip in a mountainous area in central Panama ... before. , Unable to identify it, they contacted German Carnevali, ... to be an unnamed species. So Carnevali recently named it ... the genus name, comprising about 40 species in the world. ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... in Europe, Asia and the United States are spreading ... impacting native honeybee populations at this time, according to ... including Nosema microsporidia and Varroa ... to these invasive pests, which suggests to us that ... and the United States currently are not necessary in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away 2How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away 3How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away 4Orchid named after UC Riverside researcher 2Orchid named after UC Riverside researcher 3East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests… for now 2East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests… for now 3
(Date:1/15/2014)... NY (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 The Microcompetition ... a major disease. One of these latent viruses is the ... rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory ... theory, a study found that RA patients have high concentrations ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 Freeslate, ... solutions, today announced that Lupin Limited, one of India’s ... CM Protégé PharmD System for high throughput ... India, is focused on a wide range of quality, ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... 14, 2014 Date: Friday, April 11, 2014 ... Country Club, 1360 Almshouse Road, Warrington, Pa. , ... solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and ... host its annual Crystal Ball on Friday, April 11 at ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... a leading provider of strategic communications services to corporations and organizations ... the United States and Europe ... is returning to the firm,s Washington, D.C. ... than two years of service as Associate Commissioner for the Office ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 2Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 3Lupin Selects Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System to Accelerate Polymorph Screening for Drug Development 2Lupin Selects Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System to Accelerate Polymorph Screening for Drug Development 3Hepatitis B Foundation to Host Annual Crystal Ball Gala 2Former FDA Associate Commissioner Returns To 3D Communications 2
Cached News: