Research: Alzheimer’s has ‘infectious’ mechanism

Plaque in the brain tissue of someone with Alzheimer's disease. Credit: U.S. National Institute on Ageing
by Gareth Barton

SYDNEY: Neurobiologists have found they can induce Alzheimer’s disease in healthy mice by injecting diseased brain tissue, which means it may have an ‘infectious’ mechanism similar to prion diseases.

Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common form of dementia, affects more than 200,000 Australians, and is both incurable and fatal. This study may help understand some of the mechanisms involved in Alzheimer’s disease, but experts stress that there is no need to worry about catching the disease.

Collections of hard, tangled proteins called plaques are found between nerve cells in nearly all Alzheimer’s patients, and are likely responsible for the loss of brain and motor function seen in the disease. These plaques could be induced in healthy mice by injecting diseased brain tissue.

Read the full article at Cosmos Magazine Online.