The prevailing theory suggests the destructive buildup of plaques occurs when cells secrete too much beta-amyloid peptide, but a new study argues the problem is clearance, not production
In recent years, researchers have made a number of major advances in understanding the origins of Alzheimer's. But a new study shows that however much we know, new research can change the game.
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The prevailing theory of Alzheimer's suggests that the destructive buildup of plaques outside brain cells occurs because brain cells secrete too much beta-amyloid peptide, the precursor to plaques. Recent studies have suggested that the problem in Alzheimer's lies not in the brain's production of the plaques, but in its clearance of them.
However, there may be even more to the story than what we knew up until now. New research shows that brain cells may actually have trouble secreting beta-amyloid peptide that has built up inside the cells, rather than secreting too much. The team showed that beta-amyloid builds up within the neuron first, presumably because the neuron has trouble pushing it out. And it's this early step -- the internal buildup of the beta-amyloid -- that may be the cornerstone of the disease.