IS THIS PROTEIN THE CULPRIT BEHIND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE?

What causes Alzheimer’s disease is unknown, but a popular theory suggests a protein known as amyloid-beta slowly builds up a plaque in the brains of people with the disease. But in a recent study in the journal Cell Death & Disease, researchers looked at a new mechanism, which involves a non-amyloid-beta protein, a potassium channel referred to as KCNB1.

Under conditions of stress in a brain Alzheimer’s disease affects, KCNB1 builds up and becomes toxic to neurons and then promotes the production of amyloid-beta. A chemical process commonly known as oxidation causes the build-up of KCNB1 channels.

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