Alzheimer's may NOT be caused by toxic protein clumps killing brain cells: Study debunks the established theory
Alzheimer's disease may not be caused by toxic protein clumps killing brain cells, new research suggests. Previous findings imply the commonest form of dementia occurs due to amyloid proteins in the brain sticking together to form plaques. These plaques were thought to lead to the disease by killing nerve cells or causing another protein to make toxic tangles in the brain.
A new study found amyloid proteins do cause plaques, however, these do not lead to nerve cell death or such tangles.
Study author Professor Ernst Wolvetang, from the University of Queensland, said: 'Our data challenges the current dogma in the field that amyloid plaques are sufficient to cause neurodegenerative changes associated with Alzheimer's disease.
'Excitingly, this opens the way for drug screening'.
Alzheimer's disease affects around 5.5 million people in the US and 850,000 in the UK. With no cure, most sufferers live just eight-to-10 years after their diagnosis.