(SCIENCE ALERT) – A new study on mice suggests the cause of Alzheimer's disease may not be the buildup of beta-amyloid clumps in the brain but rather breaks in the connections (synapses) between brain cells.
By manipulating the natural processes of RNA editing in mice modelled to reflect Alzheimer's symptoms, researchers prevented the connections in their brains from breaking down. Memory was restored without removing the protein clumps that are thought to cause the disease, suggesting damage between neurons was a critical problem.
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The finding provides a new understanding of Alzheimer's disease and an approach that could potentially address memory loss in Alzheimer's patients. The team is optimistic about developing this process into a viable treatment for humans.