Groundbreaking Study: Alzheimer’s-associated gene may be part of innate immune system

Posted March 3, 2010

From Cure Alzheimer’s Fund President & CEO, Tim Armour:

Exciting news!

Breakthrough research conducted by our very own Dr. Rudy Tanzi and his team at Massachusetts General Hospital has led to an important advancement in the understanding of the protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Dr. Tanzi’s research, which will be featured in tomorrow’s issue of PLoS One, amyloid-beta protein (A-beta) — the primary constituent of the plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients — may be a normal part of the innate immune system.

“These data change the way we look at A-beta. For years we thought that A-beta was just metabolic garbage produced as a byproduct of other processes within the brain, but these data suggest it is a normal component of the brain’s innate immune system,” says Dr. Tanzi. “If we can manage the production of A-beta in the brain’s innate immune system triggered by combinations of genetics and environmental factors, we may be able to lower the risk for this devastating disease.”

This is a significant breakthrough in the search for a cure! By better understanding A-beta, our researchers can more effectively develop preventative and therapeutic strategies — bringing us that much closer to eliminating Alzheimer’s once and for all.

And with 78 million Baby Boomers quickly approaching the age of greatest risk for Alzheimer’s, we must find a cure fast!

For the last 5 years, we’ve invested in research that is speed-driven, results-oriented and innovative. It’s this unique approach that has paid off handsomely in the past and again today — thanks largely to your continued support.

Every dollar of new funds leads us closer to understanding and eliminating this disease. If you haven’t made a gift to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, please consider making a gift today to help end Alzheimer’s in our lifetimes.