The protein tau has long been at the center of a debate about the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, but how the protein works is still mostly a mystery.
Alzheimer's Reading Room
Nature Medicine examines tau’s role in Parkinson’s disease and demonstrates that the protein’s function in the brain is related to the transport of iron, a big step toward understanding the molecular underpinnings of both neurodegenerative diseases.
Parkinson's and Alzheimer's could be caused by an accumulation of iron in regions of the brain, Australian researchers have found.
Following this discovery, the team went on to actually prevent neurodegeneration in transgenic mice by giving them an iron chelator. The finding could offer new avenues of investigation for finding treatments for these incurable diseases.