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Amyloid fibrils play a crucial role in neurodegenerative illnesses. Scientists from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and Forschungszentrum Jülich have now been able to use cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to decode the spatial structure of the fibrils that are formed from PI3K SH3 domains—an important model system for research. Although the fibrils examined are not themselves connected with an illness, the findings made and methods developed could serve to understand diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Protein aggregation—in which misfolded proteins clump together to form large fibrils—has been implicated in many diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and type II diabetes. While the exact role these fibrils play in diseases isn't fully understood, many of the current treatments for diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's target the aggregation process. However, finding the right treatment protocols for these drugs, which can be toxic in large doses, is challenging.
The idea of seeing a loved one decline and lose their ability to recall their most treasured memories is devastating. However, it is a fact of life for an increasing number of Canadians. A group of experts on population health convened by the Alzheimer Society of Canada in 2015 estimated that nearly one million Canadians will have Alzheimer's disease in 2031.
Alzheimer's Research UK is calling on the Prime Minister to back worldwide commitments to invest in more dementia research as new data out today shows deaths due to the condition continue to rise. According to the Office of National Statistics, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias remain the leading cause of death in England and Wales and accounted for 12.8 percent of all deaths in 2018.
Memory impairment and mood changes are typically observed in patients with Alzheimer's disease but what disturbs these neuronal functions is unclear. Some researchers have proposed that alterations in the production of new neurons in the brain, or neurogenesis, may be involved; however, whether neurogenesis happens in humans, much less those with Alzheimer's disease, has been debated. A discovery published today in the journal Cell Reports provides a possible explanation for this debate and may shed light on what happens in Alzheimer's disease.
People with dementia can flourish and show creativity in ways they, their caregivers and loved ones never thought possible. Under the guidance of a trained therapist, creative arts therapies use painting, drama, dance and music to help improve quality of life for people with dementia.
A new study confirms that a simple blood test can reveal whether there is accelerating nerve cell damage in the brain. The researchers analysed neurofilament light protein (NFL) in blood samples from patients with Alzheimer's disease. Recently published in JAMA Neurology, the study suggests that the NFL concentration in the blood could be able to indicate if a drug actually affects the loss of nerve cells.
The use of thiazide diuretics was associated with a decreased risk of low energy fractures in people with Alzheimer's disease, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows. The association was found in long-term use exceeding three years; however, shorter term use did not reduce the risk of fractures. Thiazides are typically prescribed to treat hypertension. The results were published in Osteoporosis International.
A large team of researchers affiliated with a host of institutions across South Korea has developed a possible blood test to detect the early stages of Alzheimer's disease in patients who have yet to exhibit symptoms. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their research and the technique they developed for detecting the disorder.

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