Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Finding ways to detect and treat Alzheimer's disease

18.02.2014
Canadian researchers are unraveling the mysteries of the amyloid beta peptides, implicated in Alzheimer's disease, which they describe at Biophysical Society Meeting

Alzheimer's disease has long been marked by progress -- but not the kind of progress the medical community seeks. It is the most common form of dementia among older Americans, and its risk increases with increasing age; for those living with the disease, its ravages get worse over time; and as we move into the 21st century, it will place a greater and greater burden on society. The number of Americans living with Alzheimer's has doubled since 1980 and is expected to triple again by 2050.


This image shows a simple scheme illustrating the formation of toxic aggregates through self-association of the Abeta molecule. Each chain represents a single Abeta molecule. Red sites are those that are pivotal for self-association.

Credit: G.Melacini/McMaster University

Sadly, Alzheimer's disease has been the least prone to progress in the one area where we'd like to find change the most -- in our ability to fight it. There is still no way to prevent, reverse or definitively diagnose Alzheimer's disease using molecular markers or imaging.

Many research groups are working to change that, and at the 58th Annual Biophysical Society Meeting, which is taking place in San Francisco from Feb. 15-19, Giuseppe Melacini of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada will describe the progress his team is making at unraveling the mystery of the amyloid beta ("Abeta") peptide, a tangling molecule found in the brain plaques associated with the disease.

"By focusing on one of the main components that impairs proper brain function, called Abeta peptide, we are trying to understand what properties of Abeta lead to toxic aggregates implicated in brain impairment," explained Giuseppe Melacini. This work is significant, he added, because without a molecular understanding of Alzheimer's disease, it will be difficult if not impossible to begin to find a cure.

Melacini and his team used a unique method originally developed to study long-range communication in folded proteins. This is a new approach never used before for unfolded peptides, such as the Abeta molecule, and it could reveal transient elusive states of Abeta that have escaped detection so far but that could be implicated in toxic aggregate formation. The research team dealt with challenges unique to the Abeta molecule. This system is difficult to work with because it is very aggregation prone and very sensitive to even the smallest differences in sample preparation protocols, says Melacini. "The Abeta molecule is also highly dynamic and it is therefore hard to pinpoint which structures out of this complex ensemble are functionally relevant."

While this research is still in its early stages, the team is taking the next steps to identify Abeta structures that either form or inhibit the formation of toxic aggregates, which in turn can cause brain impairment. Once that is done, the goal will be to trap these structures and use them for screening.

"If we can identify the structures of the Abeta peptide that lead to toxic aggregates, we can then begin the development of inhibitors to suppress that process and have a chance to find treatments for Alzheimer's disease," Melacini said.

The presentation "Finding Order in Disorder: Probing Transient Functional States in the Amyloidogenic Alzheimer's Aâ Peptide Using the NMR Chemical Shift Covariance Analysis (CHESCA)" by Moustafa Algamal, Julijana Milojevic, Naeimeh Jafari, Shiyuan Zhang, Rajeevan Selvaratnam and Giuseppe Melacini will be at 11:45 a.m. on Monday, February 17, 2014 in Room 304 in San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center.

ABSTRACT: http://tinyurl.com/nljg2o3

ABOUT THE MEETING

Each year, the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting brings together more than 7,000 researchers working in the multidisciplinary fields representing biophysics. With more than 4,200 poster presentations, over 200 exhibits, and more than 20 symposia, the BPS Annual Meeting is the largest meeting of biophysicists in the world. Despite its size, the meeting retains its small-meeting flavor through its subgroup symposia, platform sessions, social activities, and committee programs.

The 58th Annual Meeting will be held at the Moscone Convention Center, 747 Howard Street, San Francisco, California.

PRESS REGISTRATION

The Biophysical Society invites professional journalists, freelance science writers and public information officers to attend its Annual Meeting free of charge. For press registration, contact Alisha Yocum at ayocum@biophysics.org or Jason Bardi at 240-535-4954.

QUICK LINKS

Main Meeting Page: http://tinyurl.com/mfjh37p

Program Highlights: http://tinyurl.com/mosxrof

Abstracts Search: http://tinyurl.com/lbrearu

ABOUT THE SOCIETY

The Biophysical Society, founded in 1958, is a professional, scientific Society established to encourage development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics. The Society promotes growth in this expanding field through its annual meeting, monthly journal, and committee and outreach activities. Its 9000 members are located throughout the U.S. and the world, where they teach and conduct research in colleges, universities, laboratories, government agencies, and industry. For more information on the Society, or the 2014 Annual Meeting, visit http://www.biophysics.org

Jason Socrates Bardi | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aip.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Using DNA origami to build nanodevices of the future
31.08.2015 | Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University

nachricht An ounce of prevention: Research advances on 'scourge' of transplant wards
28.08.2015 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How wind sculpted Earth's largest dust deposit

China's Loess Plateau was formed by wind alternately depositing dust or removing dust over the last 2.6 million years, according to a new report from University of Arizona geoscientists. The study is the first to explain how the steep-fronted plateau formed.

China's Loess Plateau was formed by wind alternately depositing dust or removing dust over the last 2.6 million years, according to a new report from...

Im Focus: An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets still stick to them. Now, Penn State researchers have developed nano/micro-textured, highly slippery surfaces able to outperform these naturally inspired coatings, particularly when the water is a vapor or tiny droplets.

Enhancing the mobility of liquid droplets on rough surfaces could improve condensation heat transfer for power-plant heat exchangers, create more efficient...

Im Focus: Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world's temperate forests

Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.

"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease...

Im Focus: OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking conference in Heidelberg for outstanding mathematicians and computer scientists

20.08.2015 | Event News

Scientists meet in Münster for the world’s largest Chitin und Chitosan Conference

20.08.2015 | Event News

Large agribusiness management strategies

19.08.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tiny Drops of Early Universe 'Perfect' Fluid

02.09.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

Learning from Nature: Genomic database standard alleviates search for novel antibiotics

02.09.2015 | Life Sciences

International research project gets high level of funding

02.09.2015 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>