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How Alzheimer's peptides shut down cellular powerhouses

An international team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Chris Meisinger from the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Freiburg has discovered how Alzheimer's disease damages mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell. For several years researchers have known that the cellular energy supply of brain cells is impaired in Alzheimer's patients. They suspect this to be the cause of premature death of nerve cells that occurs in the course of the disease. Little is known about the precise cause of this neuronal cell death, and many approaches and attempts to find an effective therapy have failed to make an impact. What is certain is that a tiny protein fragment by the name of "amyloid-beta" plays a key role in the process.

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