Why Alzheimer’’s patients tend to develop epilepsy

March 19th, 2009 - 2:39 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 19 (ANI): An international team of scientists have found out why Alzheimer’’s disease sufferers go on to develop epilepsy.

Led by scientists at Aberdeen University in Scotland, the research team have discovered that a protein in the brain accumulates in clumps in the brains of people suffering from dementia.

The clumps of proteins make the nerve cells too sensitive, which in turn lose their ability to communicate coherently with other nerve cells.

The researchers say that this makes Alzheimer’’s patients more susceptible to seizures, reports the Scotsman.

While official figures show that nearly one third of Alzheimer’’s patients suffer from some degree of epilepsy, this is for the time that a link has been established between the two conditions.

Professor Tibor Harkany, the Aberdeen neurobiologist who led the research, said that the findings could lead to changes in the drugs used to treat Alzheimer’’s disease.

He said that the research team had discovered that the “beta-amyloid protein, a key component of the plaques that clog the brain of an Alzheimer’’s patient, was causing cells to short-circuit and fire too many electrical signals. (ANI)

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