Amyloid plaques may be key players in the immune system

Written by Alice Weatherston

Amyloid-beta protein, which forms amyloid plaques within the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients, may actually be an innate part of the immune system, a new study has revealed. The research carried out at Massachusetts General Hospital indicates that amyloid-beta may be the ‘first line of defence’ against infection in the brain, highlighting potential implications for the design of current Alzheimer’s therapies that target the protein. Lead author of the study, Robert Moir (Massachusetts General Hospital), first proposed the idea that our view of the role of amyloid-beta in Alzheimer’s may be incomplete when he observed that amyloid-beta possesses many of...

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