June 8, 2008 Los Angeles Times opinion piece by author and Middlebury scholar Sue Halpern says the years of Alzheimer’s research may be paying dividends with new treatments that will stave off the disease.
Halpern quotes Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Dr. Rudy Tanzi explaining the disease: “The main place where a-beta 42 does its work is in the synapse. So every minute of the day, an Alzheimer patient is producing a-beta 42, for one reason or another, and it’s accumulating in the brain … it’s accumulating … in the synapse. Way, way before the plaques form, you get tiny little aggregates of a-beta 42. The peptides stick together and they get into the synapse and they disrupt the most basic synaptic function for learning and memory.”