SPOKANE, Wash. – Researchers may have found the next step in understanding Alzheimer's disease — and for the first time they've found a way to target the toxic particles that destroy healthy brain cells.

What makes this discovery so important, is that it's the first time that a systematic method to go after the pathogens has been proposed.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge and at Lund University in Sweden released the study today. They have devised the first strategy to ‘go after’ the cause of the devastating disease, which could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to treat dementia. They also reported the breakthrough in the journal PNAS.

“This is the first time that a systematic method to go after the pathogens – the cause of Alzheimer’s disease – has been proposed,” said Professor Michele Vendruscolo from Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry, the paper’s senior author. “Until very recently scientists couldn’t agree on what the cause was so we didn’t have a target. As the pathogens have now been identified as small clumps of proteins known as oligomers, we have been able to develop a strategy to aim drugs at these toxic particles.”

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