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Most dangerous aggregates in Alzheimer's identified

from Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Beta amyloid, the peptide long associated with Alzheimer's disease, embodies a diabolical version of the Goldilocks principle. For beta amyloid, "just right," when it comes to killing neurons, means forming aggregates of intermediate size—specifically, aggregates of 20 to 100 units. Neither smaller aggregates nor amyloid fibrils, which can contain up to 3,000 peptide units, are as toxic. This finding, from scientists based at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), squarely faces one of the key uncertainties in Alzheimer's research, namely, the lack of unequivocal proof that beta amyloid causes the onset and development of the disease. more

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