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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/21/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... a leading provider of secure digital communications services, today ... biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in ... facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile app, ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... LONDON , March 17, 2016 ... market intelligence, forecasts the global biometrics market will ... an impressive 118% increase from 2015. Consumer electronics, ... with embedded fingerprint sensors anticipated to reach two ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Research Analyst ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... Yissum Research Development Company of the ... the Hebrew University, announced today the formation of ... various human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its ... investors. ... electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... After several promising treatments in Panama using ... of Knowledge in Panama, a 6 year-old Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy patient received his ... following FDA approval of a second application for a single patient, investigational new ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Thailand (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... participation of a Thai delegation at BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located at ... sector will be available to answer questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology and ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Scientists at the University of Athens say ... mesothelioma may be hampering the research that could lead to one good one. Surviving ... read it now. , The team evaluated 98 mesothelioma patients who ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... and traumatic injuries, will be accelerated by research at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) ... of wound healing and tissue regeneration. , The novel method, developed by WPI ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: