Enzyme essential to preventing Alzheimer's

Researchers have identified an enzyme that could play a key therapeutic role in preventing Alzheimer's. The scientists at Washington University School of Medicine developed mice that couldn't produce the enzyme MMP-9 and found that amyloid beta (Abeta) plaques built up in the space between neurons. That plaque has long been linked with Alzheimer's. Their work was built around the observation that brain support cells close to the plaque increased their production of MMP-9 and theorized that it was responsible for the body's ability to limit plaque growth. The team will now explore if increasing levels of the enzyme can prevent Alzheimer's, giving them a clear shot at developing a new therapeutic.

- here's the report on Alzheimer's research from UPI

ALSO: UCLA researchers have used 3-D imaging techniques to track the spread of Alzheimer's in the brain. Their work could provide a useful diagnostic tool for determining the effects of new therapeutics. Release