A large-scale study of brain proteins has provided new information about Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists analyzed the brains of people who died due to the progression of the insidious disease.
Researchers from Emory University have discovered new changes in the brains of people who died from Alzheimer’s disease, which are directly related to this disease. The data emphasize the key role of proteins in the development of insidious disease. Understanding these changes will help identify future therapeutic targets when creating new drugs for an as-yet incurable disorder.
For decades, scientists have known that most of the underlying damage to Alzheimer’s disease is due to changes in brain proteins. But in order to better understand what changes can occur in the brain of patients, scientists usually evaluate the levels of ribonucleic acid, not proteins. RNA resembles DNA in shape, it often transmits the genetic blueprints of proteins from cellular chromosomes to the mechanisms that produce proteins.
Since RNA is easier to work with, scientists relied on it as a means of indirectly reading global changes in protein levels. But now they have discovered that direct measurement of protein parameters on a large scale provides important clues to understanding Alzheimer’s disease that cannot be detected by analyzing RNA alone. Several protein networks capable of participating in the development of Alzheimer’s disease have been identified, including protein communities whose levels have been rising or falling in a coordinated manner in people with Alzheimer’s disease.