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New Drug might Diminish Alzheimer's Risk of Type 2 Diabetic Patients

Update Date: Feb 03, 2013 07:29 AM EST

A recent study suggested that type 2 diabetic patients are at the risk of being Alzheimer's patients later in life. Yet another recent study has now developed a molecular model which, when developed into a drug, will lower the risk considerably.

The team comprised of Yifat Miller, assistant professor from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel, who characterized the interaction between the two protein structures. Collaborator Aphrodite Kapurniotu of Technische Universitat Munchen, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany, performed the experiments and examinations on the interaction. The research was funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, the chains of which form peptides. These peptide chains elongate to form proteins. The association between type 2 diabetic patients and Alzheimer's disease is found in two kinds of peptide deposits which accumulate together. One is amyloid beta present in the Alzheimer plaques which are in the neurons of the brain. The second peptide is amylin present in both the pancreas and the brain. In a previous research, both the peptides were present in the pancreas of diabetic patients, and their presence is important toward the development of the disease.

Miller categorized the interaction of the two peptides by studying their molecular structure which was a novel analysis, while Kapurniotu performed the experiments on the molecular model. This analysis might form the basis of a drug designed to lower the risk of type 2 diabetic patients to suffer from Alzheimer's in the future.

"By identifying the specific 'hot regions' of these peptides that strongly interact with each other, our study may provide insight into the link between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. We believe that preventing these interactions by developing a drug will decrease the risk that type 2 diabetes patients' face of developing Alzheimer's disease later life," Miller was quoted as saying in Medicalxpress.

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