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Alzheimer’s protein can travel from blood to build up in the brain

Movement of amyloid-beta could suggest new ways to treat the disease

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6:00am, November 6, 2017
amyloid-beta buildup in mouse brain

BRAIN BUILDUP  One of the changes to brains with Alzheimer’s disease is the buildup of clumps of a protein called amyloid-beta (red) among nerve cells (green, mouse brain shown).

An Alzheimer’s-related protein can move from the blood to the brain and accumulate there, experiments on mice show for the first time.

The results, published online October 31 in Molecular Psychiatry, suggest that the protein amyloid-beta outside the brain may contribute to the Alzheimer’s disease inside it, says Mathias Jucker, a neurobiologist at the University of Tübingen in Germany. This more expansive view of the disease may lead scientists to develop treatments that target parts of the body that are easier than the brain to access.  

The experiments don’t suggest that people could contract Alzheimer’s from another person’s blood. “The bottom line is that this study is thought-provoking but shouldn’t cause alarm,” says neurologist John Collinge of University College London. “There really isn’t any evidence that

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