Alzheimer's finding may shed new light on memory loss
Do you remember the seventh song that played on your radio on the way to work yesterday? Most of us don't, thanks to a normal forgetting process that is constantly "cleaning house" - culling inconsequential information from our brains. Researchers at the Buck Institute now believe that this normal memory loss is hyper-activated in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and that this effect is key to the profound memory loss associated with the incurable neurodegenerative disorder.
Last year, this same group of researchers found that they could completely prevent Alzheimer's disease in mice genetically engineered with a human Alzheimer's gene--"Mouzheimer's" - by blocking a single site of cleavage of one molecule, called APP for amyloid precursor protein. Normally, this site on APP is attacked by molecular scissors called caspases, but blocking that process prevented the disease. Now they have studied human brain tissue and found that, just as expected, patients suffering from