Silicon Valley News

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Editor's Choice: Genentech finds clues to Alzheimer's treatment

Scientists at biotechnology giant Genentech and the Salk Institute recently discovered clues about possible treatments for Alzheimer's, a degenerative disease that is marked by memory loss, confusion and eventually the inability to care for oneself. The research involves a crucial amyloid-producing protein, called APP, that has long been linked to Alzheimer's. Scientists believe amyloid plaque triggers the disease, causing brain cell death and dementia. Many companies are developing amyloid inhibitor drugs, despite controversy over whether amyloid is really the cause of the disease. Trial results have so far been inconclusive.