Tau Protein Spreads Like Virus in AD
This seems like important news. Here are excerpts:
"But for more than a quarter-century, researchers have been unable to decide between two explanations. One is that the spread may mean that the disease is transmitted from neuron to neuron, perhaps along the paths that nerve cells use to communicate with one another. Or it could simply mean that some brain areas are more resilient than others and resist the disease longer. The new studies provide an answer. And they indicate it may be possible to bring Alzheimerâs disease to an abrupt halt early on by preventing cell-to-cell transmission, perhaps with an antibody that blocks tau."
"The question of which hypothesis was correct â tau spreading cell to cell, or a bad neighborhood in the brain and cells with different vulnerabilities to it â remained unanswerable. Dr. Hyman said he tried for 25 years to find a good way to address it."
"He and others are also asking if other degenerative diseases spread through the brain because proteins pass from nerve cell to nerve cell. Dr. Hardy thought he saw provocative human evidence that it might be happening in Parkinsonâs disease."
Robinhttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/healt ... -find.html
February 1, 2012
Faulty Protein Is Like a Virus in Alzheimerâs
By Gina Kolata
New York Times