Amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients have been a subject of scientific discussion for years. Scientists have thought that either (1) the plaques have caused Alzheimer’s disease or (2) these plaques were generated as the disease progresses. Ganesh M. Shankar, Ph.D., and Dennis J. Selkoe, M.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in collaboration with several universities and hospitals have shown beta-amyloid protein fragments may damage brain cells. This finding would suggest that beta-amyloid protein fragments play a key role in the start of this irreversible disorder. This studing is published online in Nature Medicine, June 22,2008.
With this information, there is now new information that can lead to developing drug therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. Many researchers at serveral universities and hosiptiles, including Harvard, the University College in Dublin, Trinity College in Dublin, Beaumont Hospital, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, have been involved.