May 25, 2009 --
The brains of monkeys and other primates could hold an important clue about the cause and progression of Alzheimer's disease. Scientists have noticed that humans develop the devastating neurological disorder, but other primates don't. The brains of chimpanzees and other non-human primates do however get clogged with the same protein plaques which are believed to cause Alzheimer's.
Researchers have found that a molecule used to track plaque build-up latches easily onto plaques in human brains, but not in those of apes and monkeys. Figuring out the differences between the two types of plaque could lead to prevent the disease in people.
These findings are published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.