Research ResourceAlzheimer’s Disease

Aβ and tau prion-like activities decline with longevity in the Alzheimer’s disease human brain

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Science Translational Medicine  01 May 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 490, eaat8462
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat8462

Puncta point the way

Amyloid plaques composed of Aβ peptides and neurofibrillary tangles composed of aberrant tau proteins are the key pathological hallmarks in the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain. However, understanding which conformers of Aβ and tau play a pathological role at each step of AD pathogenesis has been difficult to elucidate. Aoyagi et al. have developed sensitive cellular assays that detect aberrant Aβ and tau in postmortem brain homogenates from patients with AD or other neurodegenerative diseases. Using fluorescent puncta as a readout, these assays now reveal that patients with AD who died at an older age have lower Aβ and tau pathological conformers than do patients who died at a younger age.

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