Solving the mystery of Alzheimer’s start

Molecular evildoers team up to launch neural destruction

By Tina Hesman Saey, 13:17 PM December 20, 2013

NEW ORLEANS — The smoking gun for Alzheimer’s disease was discovered years ago, but new research has closed in on who pulls the trigger.

Brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease are riddled with plaques. Those plaques are made up of fibers composed of a protein fragment known as amyloid-beta, or A-beta. Tangles of another protein called tau snarl inside nerve cells of the patients’ brains. Plaques and tangles are signs that neurons have been murdered. Most researchers agree it’s the soluble f...

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