Proteins big factor in Alzheimer's development

December 22, 2008 2:09:00 PM PST
Researchers say they were surprised to discover that two proteins known for their role in the cardiovascular system were major factors in the development of Alzheimer's disease. The two work in tandem by lessening the blood flow in the brain and reducing the rate at which the brain is able to remove amyloid beta. That's a protein that accumulates in damaging quantities in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

University of Rochester researchers believe this discovery could provide an effective target for treatment.

Another new study found that nearly half of the 4.5 million people that suffer from Alzheimer's are women. According to the National Institute on Aging, there is evidence that the disease affects women differently than men, specifically when it comes to naming and word-recognition.