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Alzheimer’s Disease

Today, more than 1.2 million people in Germany suffer from Alzheimer’s disease; globally this figure is estimated to be more than 24 million. As the disease progresses, patients suffer an increasingly severe loss of memory and other cognitive abilities. Growing numbers of those affected, the suffering of patients and their families, and the already enormous economic costs today make "Alzheimer’s" one of the most urgent challenges in health research.

Identifizierung von Amyloid-beta-Oligomeren

Ultra-sensitive test for early diagnosis

With present-day methods, Alzheimer’s disease can only be diagnosed at a very advanced stage. A new method developed by scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich and Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf could potentially allow diagnosis of the disease long before symptoms become apparent. To this end, the protein aggregates believed to cause the disease are detected using fluorescent antibodies.

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Schematische Darstellung

Drug research for Alzheimer’s treatment

Aggregates of the amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide are thought to play a major role in the development and progression of the disease. As a single, solitary molecule, or "monomer", the Aβ peptide is initially harmless but it can form aggregates, eventually causing massive nerve cell damage and death in the brain. Researchers at Jülich have therefore developed a novel drug candidate that selectively targets the most harmful aggregate species.

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