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 Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Spread of deadly eye cancer halted in cells and animals
13.11.2018 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland

15.11.2018 | Earth Sciences

When electric fields make spins swirl

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Discovery of a cool super-Earth

15.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>