Scientists at the Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante (Spain) reported some new findings in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy. In Alzheimer’s Disease there are build-ups of two types of proteins in the brain: amyloid plaques and tau protein tangles. Beta-amyloid is a fragment of the larger protein called amyloid precursor protein (APP). When APP is broken down it either forms harmless proteins or the beta-amyloid during a process called glycosylation. The senior author, Javier Saez-Valero, said this is dependent upon what sugar form is attached in the glycosylation process.
This sugar difference could be used as a target or biomarker for diagnosis of the disease possibly. It could also lead down the road to possible treatments being discovered that stop the formation of beta-amyloid by stopping this particular glycosylation process!
The next step for researchers is to compare CSF fragment proteins of APP to see how glycosylation might be different in those patients with Alzheimer’s Disease versus a study control group. We will anxiously await their findings!