Alzheimer’s is a critical disease which is known to affect the memory. In this disease, toxic protein cluster of beta- amyloid gets stored in the brain. The scientists now have successfully designed a synthetic peptide. This is also termed as small protein. It is considered to be capable of blocking beta-amyloid getting into the brain both in the early and later stages.
The synthetic peptides contain just 23 types of amino acids. These can fold into small structures which are termed as alpha sheet. These combine with the small clusters of beta-amyloid and thus prevent these from forming large chunks.
The synthetic peptides were designed and produced by a team of researchers from University of Washington, Seattle. They along with the other researchers from United States have tested the same in animals and cells. As per the test results, the alpha sheets of the peptides have been able to reduce the toxic influence of beta-amyloid in brain cells of human beings. These synthetic compounds were also able to block the earliest types of beta-amyloid in animals which are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
The details of this research will be published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers are hopeful that this finding will help them frame the treatment which can cleanse the toxic amyloid in the earliest forms. They can also use synthetic peptide to diagnose Alzheimer’s and predict its presence in human beings even before the symptoms arise.
There are several forms of beta-amyloid. While monomer form of this protein helps the brain do its essential functions, oligomers (which are a group of almost 12 monomers) has negative impact on the brain. In the Alzheimer’s disease, oligomer becomes long and then gradually forms large deposits or plaques. These are most toxic forms of beta-amyloid. Alzheimer’s disease can lead to loss of memory and lack of thinking capacity.
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