Antibodies developed that could help combat Alzheimer’s

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Researchers create antibodies that might fight Alzheimer's disease
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(EmaxHealth) Scientists have developed antibodies that they say were surprisingly simple to design using the same molecular process that causes proteins in the brain to clump.

The hope is that the finding could someday be used to destroy harmful amyloid β proteins in the brain the lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

For their research, scientists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute created antibodies that neutralize amyloid β, the harmful proteins that form in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

The development could lead to antibody type drugs that might be used to treat a variety of diseases in the future.

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The process of creating the antibody for Alzheimer’s is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”: “Structure-based design of conformation- and sequence-specific antibodies against amyloid β."

Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Peter Tessier led the study.

The antibodies are made by using the same molecular mechanism that makes amyloid β plaques clump in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients.

“We are actually exploiting the same protein interactions that cause the disease in the brain to mediate binding of antibodies to toxic Alzheimer's protein particles," Tessier said.

The result is encouraging because the Alzheimer’s antibodies only attached to harmful protein in the brain without affecting healthy tissue. Tessier says the antibodies might be able to prevent or even reverse Alzheimer’s disease.

Image credit: Wikimedia commons

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