Call Now to Speak with a Care Manager Speak with a Care Manager Now: 405-285-4191

Have Scientists Found a Trigger for Alzheimer’s?

By Greg Bridges, RN, MA, 9:00 am on

Scientists from the Lomonosov Moscow State University, the Institute of Molecular Biology Russian Academy of Sciences, and King’ s College in London combined efforts to study the mechanisms behind the development of Alzheimer’s disease. During their research, the group uncovered what they believe leads to the development of the amyloid protein tangles that are thought to be the cause of Alzheimer’s. The results were published in an issue of Scientific Reports and may prove beneficial for Alzheimer’s live-in caregivers in Oklahoma.

The devastating disease process that permanently damages the central nervous system leads to a loss of cognitive and even physical abilities. Researchers know that part of the problem lies with beta-amyloid peptide proteins commonly referred to as amyloids. Under normal circumstances, amyloids exist to protect neurons. When they are no longer functional, enzymes known proteases remove the compounds, which are then eliminated from the body. For some reason, however, some individuals have amyloids that combine and tangle, and cannot be effectively eliminated.

Scientists knew that zinc ions are necessary to perform a number of brain functions. However, they were surprised to learn that the metal is also one of the antagonizing forces behind amyloid clumping and the development of Alzheimer’s.

Researchers began investigating the connection between amyloids and their ability to bind with zinc. The study involved using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to observe the formation of molecular structures. By studying different types of beta-amyloid peptides, the scientists in London found a mutated peptide, which they called the “English mutation”. Observing this protein under NMR spectroscopy, the team discovered the chemical processes that lead to the structural changes when amyloids come in contact with zinc ions.

Some beta-amyloid peptides have aspartic acid residues that cause the protein to transform into an isomerized beta-amyloid peptide. When this altered protein comes in contact with zinc ions, immediately protein plaques begin forming as the isomerized beta-amyloid peptides fasten together using zinc ions as connecting links. In view of their findings, scientists are now studying ways to block the beta-amyloid binding process.

As researchers continue to look into this trigger and find a basis for stopping the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, families can turn to Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma to look after their senior loved ones with AD. We provide premier Alzheimer’s senior care Oklahoma families can trust to exercise elderly cognition, delay the onset of dementia, and assist with personal care activities. To learn more, call 405-285-4191 today and schedule a free consultation with an experienced Care Manager.