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 Research offers clues for improved influenza vaccine design
09.04.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Injecting gene cocktail into mouse pancreas leads to humanlike tumors
06.04.2018 | University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

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: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Diamond-like carbon is formed differently to what was believed -- machine learning enables development of new model

19.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Electromagnetic wizardry: Wireless power transfer enhanced by backward signal

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Ultrafast electron oscillation and dephasing monitored by attosecond light source

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>