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Now, thanks to the work of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) neuroscientists and researchers Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, and Robert Moir, PhD, a new hypothesis has emerged that sees beta-amyloid as an integral part of the innate immune system, the purpose of which is to battle pathogens in the brain.
By the time beta-amyloid can be seen on imaging scans, it will have been there for decades.
They also used mouse models of each disease to analyze the combined effects of high blood sugar and beta-amyloid protein in living animals.
In-vivo detection of brain beta-amyloid may help increase diagnostic accuracy in cognitively impaired patients, compared with clinical diagnosis alone," wrote Dr.
Originally put forth in the mid-1980s, the amyloid hypothesis maintained that beta-amyloid deposits in the brain set off all subsequent events -- the neurofibrillary tangles that choke the insides of neurons, neuronal cell death, and inflammation leading to a vicious cycle of massive cell death," says Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, director of the MGH Genetics and Aging Research Unit and co-senior author of the report receiving advance online publication in Nature.
Another study demonstrated that a fluorescent ligand eye scanning (FLES) system could be used to Find beta-amyloid plaque in the eye's lens.
In the studies, participants took a supplement or ointment which binds to the rogue protein and fluoresces, making beta-amyloid detectable when the eye is imaged.
Beta-amyloid protein is the primary material found in the sticky brain "plaques" characteristic of Alzheimer's disease.
Fluctuations in beta-amyloid levels may be regulated by sleep-wake patterns, the authors said.
Pharmaceutical products company Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) and its wholly owned subsidiary Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc announced on Friday the receipt of a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) in Europe, recommending approval of Amyvid (Florbetapir F 18) solution for injection as a diagnostic radiopharmaceutical indicated for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging of beta-amyloid neuritic plaque density.
M2 PHARMA-October 22, 2012-Lillya[euro](tm)s Amyvid Amyvid (Florbetapir F 18) solution recommended for approval in Europe as a diagnostic tool for PET Imaging of Beta-Amyloid Plaque Density(C)2012 M2 COMMUNICATIONS
Every patient with AD has increased levels of beta-amyloid plaque deposits in the brain at autopsy.