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Amyloid Buster? New drug hinders Alzheimer's protein

By disabling a dementia-linked protein, a synthetic drug is showing a tantalizing capacity to interfere with the formation of waxy amyloid deposits like those that accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

In those people, the protein, serum amyloid P, seems to exacerbate the buildup by linking amyloid molecules into more durable deposits. Research hasn't revealed whether these deposits cause Alzheimer's disease or are the result of it, but many scientists argue that limiting amyloid deposits will benefit patients (SN: 11/3/01, p. 286: Available to subscribers at Attacking Alzheimer's.).

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