Scientists identified brain protein that could put the brakes on Alzheimer’s

Irvine biologists blazing new approaches to studying Alzheimer’s disease have made a major finding on combating inflammation linked to the disease. The School of Biological Sciences researchers’ discovery about the role of a protein called TOM-1 heralds a shift toward examining the molecular underpinnings of Alzheimer’s processes.

The protein helps to regulate a key component of the inflammatory response. It turns out that levels of the protein are low in the Alzheimer’s brain.

The scientists discovered that reducing the amount of TOM-1 in Alzheimer’s rodent models increased pathology, which included increased inflammation, and exacerbated cognitive problems associated with the disease. Restoring TOM-1 levels reversed those effects.

This research shows that fixing the brakes at the molecular level could provide an entirely new therapeutic avenue.

Materials provided by University of California - Irvine.

Oct. 3, 2019, 10:52 a.m.

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