Neurons that do not undergo autophagy tend to accumulate beta amyloid inside instead of around them, resulting in neuronal death and subsequent memory loss, according to scientists from the Riken Brain Science Institute in Japan. The process of autophagy is believed to be disrupted in Alzheimer's disease patients. "To control amyloid beta metabolism including its secretion is a key to controlling the disease. Autophagy might therefore be a potential drug target for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease," lead researcher Per Nilsson said.
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