New study has found that stress can trigger Alzheimer’s disease by encouraging the accumulation of key proteins in the brain.
The newly discovered pathway leading to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may unlock the door to new approaches for treating the disease.
The findings focus on the tau protein, whose abnormal aggregation (clumping) has long been known to drive the nerve damage in AD. New research shows that the tau protein directs the formation of stress granules, which are molecular complexes that allow nerve cells to adapt to stresses, such as injury.
The tau-stress granule complex is usually short lived, but in the setting of chronic stress, tau persistently forms into a cluster, leading to the degeneration of nerve cells seen in AD.