A recent breakthrough in science has led experts to find the key protein in the development of Alzheimer's disease for the first time. Scientists have been able to capture the unusual "tau protein" which they have determined as the key cause of Alzheimer's. Their discovery will lead them to new methods of fighting Alzheimer's and dementia.
Alzheimer's disease is caused by two types of improper protein build ups, one is called tau, and the other is called amyloid beta. Tau builds up on the inside of the nerve cell. Amyloid beta builds up on the outside of nerve cells.
Researchers knew Tau played a part in the development of Alzheimer's disease, but they were not able to see the effects up close until using cryo-Em imaging.
Rose Sancho, the head of research for Alzheimer's in the UK states, "Drugs that could clear away clumps of protein in the brain are a key goal for researchers, but to directly affect these proteins, molecules that make up a drug need to latch on and bind to their surface. Knowing the precise shape of these complex protein structures in enormously valuable in guiding the development of targeted drugs."
Science Alert explains that we will not know about the full potential this information has to offer until more research is conducted. If could be several years before more effective drugs are created to treat Alzheimer's and dementia, but this new discovery has been a tremendous break-through.
Click here for more information and to see pictures of the tau protein.