Novel Function for Alzheimer's Protein Found; Protein Regulates How Neurons Relay Signals Through Brain Cells, UC Irvine Researchers Find

April 2002
Ascribe Newswire: Medicine;4/5/2002, p9
University of California, Irvine, California, researchers have found a novel role for a protein linked to another known protein that causes the brain plaques in Alzheimer's disease. The findings provide a greater understanding of the molecular events that underlie this degenerative brain disease and could affect the way researchers are currently looking for treatments for Alzheimer's. The researchers found that the protein AICD is involved in regulating calcium signaling, which nerve cells in the brain use to communicate and relay chemical messages through a cell and is vital in maintaining cell health. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, afflicting more than four million Americans. Most cases of inherited Alzheimer's are due to inheriting a defective copy of a gene called presenilin-1, which leads to a very aggressive form of the disease.


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