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A Toxic Cascade: When the Brain Consumes Itself [Slide Show]

In the brain, bent-out-of-shape proteins can cause devastating neurological diseases

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RELENTLESS PROGRESSION:

The fragmentation and seeding progresses and more plaque builds up.....[ More ]

FROM BAD TO WORSE:

Oligomers and protofibrils fragment and continue the seeding that causes Aβ molecules to aggregate.....[ More ]

THE ROAD TO SENILITY:

Oligomers and protofibrils assemble into long fibers that later coalesce into senile plaques that can damage brain tissue, leading eventually to the dementia characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.....[ More ]

THE CASCADE CONTINUES:

This process does not stop and aggregations of Aβ called oligomers and protofibrils accumulate.....[ More ]

A BAD SEED

Mis-folded Aβ acts as a "seed" that causes other normal Aβ proteins to bend out of shape and mis-fold as well.....[ More ]

MIS-FOLDING BEGINS

Aging, genes, head injury and other factors can cause the molecule to contort and mis-fold into an improper shape.....[ More ]

A TOXIC CASCADE:

Aβ (amyloid beta) is a normal brain protein molecule.....[ More ]

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