BY Rick Nauert, PHD
A new discovery shows how the body normally cleanses the brain of harmful substances associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
In the study, researchers determined that a molecular chaperone, HspB1, works like a waste management company to collect and detoxify high levels of toxic amyloid beta peptide found in Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists had known that HspB1 was present in the hallmark plaques that build up between the neurons of Alzheimer’s patients, but its role remained a mystery.
“What we have found is HspB1 is a protective mechanism that tries to get rid of the toxic oligomers or aggregates of amyloid beta that occur in Alzheimer’s,” said Anil G. Cashikar, Ph.D., the corresponding author of the study published in Molecular and Cellular Biology.