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Soluble Aβ: Getting a Grip on Its Fate

In Alzheimer’s patients, a portion of soluble amyloid-β peptides (sAβ) never makes it out of the brain as in normal subjects, ending up instead in amyloid fibrils or plaques. A trio of recent papers explores factors that determine the fate of these peptides...

ALS—Is It the Neurons or the Glia?

One well-characterized cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is mutation of the copper-zinc isoform of superoxide dismutase (SOD), causing progressive degeneration of motor neurons. But must these mutations occur in neurons to be detrimental? A report in today’s Science suggests...

Gleevec for Alzheimer's?

Gleevec, the cancer "wonder drug" that has proven effective for gastrointestinal stromal tumors might also be useful for Alzheimer's patients, if only one could deliver it to the brain effectively...

Tau Kinase Mediates Stroke Damage

The September 21 online Nature Neuroscience reports that the serine-threonine kinase Cdk5, which is known to phosphorylate the neurofibrillary tangle protein tau, is essential for ischemia-provoked death of hippocampal CA1 neurons...

BACE Goes Rafting after APP

A new study adds support to the theory that a critical first step in the production of the Aβ peptide by the BACE enzyme occurs primarily in specialized, cholesterol-rich areas of the plasma membrane called "lipid rafts"...

Donepezil to Broaden Its Reach?

Two similar studies funded by Eisai and Pfizer companies, the developer and US-promoter of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor drug donepezil, suggest that their drug, already widely used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, may also relieve symptoms of patients with vascular dementia...

Pinning Prions to the Cytosol

Prions, those self-replicating proteins responsible for scrapie, mad cow disease, and some human neurologic diseases, have been notoriously difficult to pin down in the cell. Now, an international collaboration reports perhaps the most detailed localization study to date...

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