Dual Role of Amyloid as Protector and Instigator (2016)

Posted February 15, 2018

Research conducted by Rob Moir, Ph.D., and Rudy Tanzi, Ph.D. of Massachusetts General Hospital uncovered the likely role of infection in Alzheimer’s disease.

Moir and Tanzi showed that amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s, might form as an immune response to pathogens in the brain. This discovery shows that Alzheimer’s pathology begins with a weakened blood-brain barrier that, with age, may allow pathogens to permeate – triggering an exaggerated immune response. The study also showed that amyloid may also have a role in protecting the healthy brain and that future therapies for the disease should probably regulate amyloid beta and not remove it completely.