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Brains carry odd load after strokes

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12:54pm, February 20, 2007

From San Francisco, at the International Stroke Conference

People who die from a stroke have accumulations of a protein called amyloid beta in the thalamus, a part of the brain involved in motor control, sensory processing, and signal relaying, researchers report.

In healthy people, the brain routinely makes and clears away amyloid beta, whose normal role is poorly understood. But in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease, amyloid beta gathers into waxy clumps—a development widely believed to contribute to this form of dementia.

No clear connection between amyloid beta and stroke had ever been established in people, but animal tests suggested a link.

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