Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Alzheimer's: To test or not to test

My grandmother on my mother's side suffered from Alzheimer's before she passed away a few years ago. If there were a test today that could tell me whether this fate awaits me, would I take it? I just don't know. But it's possible that such a test will be available in time for me to make that decision.

Researchers link proteins to Alzheimer's memory loss (The Daily Northwestern)

    Northwestern researchers have linked small, toxic proteins to the memory loss associated with the onset of Alzheimer's disease, opening up possibilities for new drug treatments.

    Neurobiology and physiology Prof. William L. Klein and his team of researchers published their study in the November issue of Journal of Neuroscience. The study found that proteins called amyloid-derived diffusible ligands, referred to as ADDLs, have the ability to pinpoint and bind to the brain's neural synapses where memories are formed.

    Focusing on ADDLs also may allow doctors to detect Alzheimer's with greater accuracy. Klein is currently working with chemistry Profs. Chad Mirkin and Richard Van Duyne, both of NU's Institute for Nanotechnology, on a diagnostic tool that could help identify Alzheimer's by finding ADDLs in a patients' blood samples. According to Mirkin, ADDLs "could lead to a definitive test for the disease." More here

NanoBot Backgrounder
Operation Inform Chad
When nanotubes meet buckyballs ...
The nano-brain barrier
Getting better all the time

No comments: