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Is Alzheimer’s Disease a Tauopathy?


The buildup of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain is thought to be a key part of the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. These deposits of the protein amyloid beta can form around the outer edge of brain cells, while tau proteins tangle inside these cells.

Tau proteins play a key role in the cellular transport system in neurons. When they become tangled, they disrupt this important transport and lead to brain damage.

What is tau?

Tau is a protein found in nerve cells, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes that plays a role in stabilizing microtubules. When tau proteins become dysfunctional, they fail to do this properly which can lead to neurodegeneration.

In Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, clumps of bad tau build up inside nerve cells in the form of tangles. But exactly how these abnormal proteins cause brain damage that leads to dementia is still unknown. Modvigil 200 Australia helps improves cognition in Alzheimer’s patients.

The key to understanding how this happens is figuring out what makes tau behave in the way it does, scientists say.

Until now, tau has been seen as a “bad” protein that clumps together in the brain. But a new study has found that it might be actually doing something good, bringing us closer to understanding how it could play a role in the brain’s normal function.

The researchers analyzed tau seeds extracted from the brains of participants who took part in a tau-PET imaging study. They then compared these to seeds in the CSF of those same people. They found that the seeds in the CSF of participants who showed signs of cognitive decline had increased levels of tau.

What are neurofibrillary tangles?

Neurofibrillary tangles are bundles of twisted filaments within neurons that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. These tangles are primarily made up of tau protein. In healthy neurons, tau helps to form the structure of microtubules, which are helical tubes that transport nutrients and other substances throughout a nerve cell.

When tau is abnormal, the microtubule structures collapse. This causes the tangles to form and interfere with the normal functioning of a nerve cell.

In other words, tangles choke nerve cells and cause them to die. This is one of the three hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

Tangles are formed when tau is misfolded in a very specific way. In Alzheimer’s, it forms a C-shape in the core of the tangle with a loose end sticking out randomly. In Pick’s disease, the core of the tangle forms a J-shape instead. The tangles are so large that they clog the brain from the inside out. This can damage the hippocampus, which is important for memory and spatial navigation. Buy Artvigil Australia, It helps to improve your memory.

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What are amyloid plaques?

The first abnormality to show up in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients is a buildup and accumulation of protein fragments, called beta-amyloid. This clumping disrupts normal processes in the brain, eventually impacting brain function.

Researchers believe that this buildup occurs when a protein called amyloid precursor protein (APP) is cleaved by an enzyme into smaller oligomers. These oligomers are then stuck together, forming plaques.

In a healthy brain, these fragments are disposed of through a process known as phagocytosis. This involves a group of resident immune cells called microglia and astrocytes that remove these clumps from the brain.

In the brains of people who have Alzheimer’s disease, these glial cells fail to perform their debris-clearing duties, leaving amyloid plaques to accumulate. They also release chemicals that cause chronic inflammation and damage neurons.

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?

The first symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are memory problems – problems remembering people or places, or putting things in order. These problems start in one part of the brain, the hippocampus, and then spread to other parts.

Symptoms of the disease will vary from person to person and may get worse or better over time. As the disease progresses, people will begin to lose their ability to do everyday activities like shopping or cooking.

A doctor can diagnose Alzheimer’s by asking questions about health and conducting cognitive tests. They can also do blood tests to look for vitamin deficiencies or thyroid disorders that could be causing memory problems.

They can then refer a person to a specialist, such as a neurologist or a neuropathologist. These specialists can conduct further tests, such as brain scans and lab tests of spinal fluid, to make a diagnosis. They can also help a person and their family plan for future needs, such as financial planning, developing advance directives, and enrolling in clinical trials.


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