Science Daily (October 8, 2009): Protective Role for Copper in Alzheimer's Disease

Publication Date: 
Thu, 10/08/2009

Two articles in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease -- by Dr. Chris Exley, Reader in Bioinorganic Chemistry in the Research Institute for the Environment, Physical Sciences and Applied Mathematics at Keele University, UK, and Dr. Zhao-Feng Jiang, of Beijing Union University, Beijing, China -- have confirmed a potentially protective role for copper in Alzheimer's disease.

Previous research has shown that copper is one component of the amyloid beta plaques which are found in the brains of people of Alzheimer's disease.

A central tenet of the Amyloid Cascade Hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease is the aberrant deposition in the brain of A-beta 42 in beta-sheets in neuritic or senile plaques. The Keele team have shown in previous research in JAD that copper (CU(II)) prevents the deposition of A-beta 42 in beta-sheets while in the current research they show that Cu(II) abolishes the beta-sheet structure of preformed amyloid fibrils of a-beta 42.