Individual differences in Alzheimer's molecular structure

The first detailed characterization of the molecular structures of amyloid-beta fibrils that develop in the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease suggests that different molecular structures of amyloid-beta fibrils may distinguish the brains of Alzheimer's patients with different clinical histories and degrees of brain damage. A comparison of amyloid-beta fibril fragments from the brain tissue of two patients with different clinical histories and degrees of brain damage found different molecular structures, confirming cell research showing that amyloid-beta fibrils grown in a dish have different molecular structures depending on the specific growth conditions.

Obviously, this is a very small study, and will need to be confirmed across more patients. However, it’s important for indicating that structural variations may correlate with variations in Alzheimer’s, and that structure-specific amyloid imaging agents may need to be used.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-09/cp-aps090513.php

[3587] Lu, J-X., Qiang W., Yau W-M., Schwieters C D., Meredith S C., & Tycko R.
(2013).  Molecular Structure of β-Amyloid Fibrils in Alzheimer’s Disease Brain Tissue.
Cell. 154(6), 1257 - 1268.

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