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Jan 3, 2020

Brain imaging breakthrough predicts Alzheimer’s decline in early stages

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Utilizing a recently developed brain imaging technique new research suggests that measuring accumulated levels of a protein called tau may predict future neurodegeneration associated with Alzihemer’s disease. The discovery promises to accelerate clinical trial research offering a novel way to predict the progression of the disease before major symptoms appear.

Exactly what occurs in the human brain during the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease remains quite a mystery for dementia researchers. While studies have homed in on several pathological signs signaling moderate to severe cases of Alzheimer’s, it’s still unclear what the initial triggers for the disease are, and without this vital information scientists are struggling to generate effective drugs and treatments to slow or prevent the disease.

The two big pathological signs of Alzheimer’s most researchers agree on are accumulations of amyloid and tau proteins in the brain. Abnormal aggregations of amyloid proteins, into what are referred to as plaques, are generally considered to be the primary causative mechanism behind Alzheimer’s. Masses of misfolding tau proteins, forming what are known as neurofibrillary tangles, are also seen in the disease.

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