Unlocking aggregation in amyloid peptides opens up Alzheimer’s research
Alzheimer's is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain that accounts for 60–80% of dementia cases, which cover a range of cognitive disabilities including memory loss (1). Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, with an expected life expectancy of 4–8 years after diagnosis.This disease is not a normal part of aging, and approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. There is currently no cure, but symptoms can be treated and great efforts are being made worldwide to improve treatment, delay onset, and ultimately prevent the disease from developing.The amyloid beta peptides involved in Alzheimer’s disease are prone to aggregation, challenging both synthesis and purification. A group based in Auckland New Zealand therefore developed a method to reversibly introduce double linkers into the synthetic peptide that reduce aggregation and improve solubility, resulting in higher yields and purity.