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Science Daily (October 22, 2009): Manipulating Brain Inflammation May Help Clear Brain of Amyloid Plaques, Researchers Say
In a surprising reversal of long-standing scientific belief, researchers at the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida have discovered that inflammation in the brain is not the trigger that leads to buildup of amyloid deposits and developmentof Alzheimer's disease.
In fact, inflammation helps clear the brain of those noxious amyloid plaques early in the disease development, as seen from studies in mice that are predisposed to the disorder, say the researchers in the online issue of the FASEB journal.
"This is the opposite of what most people who study Alzheimer's disease, including our research group, believed, " says the study's lead investigator Pritam Das, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience. "And it also suggests that we can take advantage of the brain's own immune cells by directing them to remove amyloid plaques from the brain, thus protecting the brain against their harmful effects."