Researchers one step closer to cracking Alzheimer’s puzzle

Alzheimer’s, a progressive form of dementia, may occur in middle age or in old age, and while a lot of research is on for drug treatments, none has been successful.

Research groups at TIFR, Mumbai, IISc, Bangalore and the University of Toronto working together, may have gotten the closest yet to figuring out how the toxic form of the Alzheimer’s molecule looks. This brings with it implications of development of better drugs to treat patients.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of dementia that is characterised by loss of short-term memory, deterioration in behaviour and intellectual performance, besides slowness of thought. It may occur in middle age or in old age, and while a lot of research is on for drug treatments, none has been successful.

Amyloid beta molecules

The ‘lock’ looks like a bunch of Amyloid beta molecules each in the shape of a hairpin, but with a twist, TIFR has said in a release. Debanjan Bhowmik, the lead contributor of the study, says “This has been suspected earlier, but what we found was an unexpected twist in the structure, now becoming a beta-hairpin — very different from the typical hairpin structure people imagined.” This technique might also help in finding the shape of similar proteins in future.

Source: The Hindu

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