28 February 2009

Forgotten and lost – when proteins ‘shut down’ our brain

Max Planck scientists obtained important new insights into the structure and interaction of a protein relevant to Alzheimer’s disease
Max Planck Society: 17 February 2009
Which modules of the tau protein, in neurons of Alzheimer disease patients, may act in a destructive manner were investigated by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Göttingen) and the Max Planck Unit for Structural Molecular Biology (Hamburg) with the help of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (PLoS Biology, February 17, 2009). Coordination becomes difficult, items disappear, keeping new information in the mind is impossible. Worldwide almost 30 million people suffer from Alzheimer's disease, a neurodegenerative, irreversible ailment which starts with memory gaps and ends in helplessness and the loss of personality. The most critical factor in developing Alzheimer's disease is age. Most cases occur after the age of 65. ... > full story

Research article: Structural Polymorphism of 441-Residue Tau at Single Residue Resolution

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