A study by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine found that a protein within the cell membrane known as mGluR5, or metabotropic glutamate receptor 5, may be the missing link in the series of events leading to Alzheimer's disease. Researchers also discovered that using an existing treatment to block the protein can restore deficits in synapse density, learning and memory in a mouse model of the disease. Researcher Dr. Stephen Strittmatter said new treatments may have to be designed to accurately target mGluR5's amyloid-prion disruption.

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