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A new study finds that a key protein implicated in Alzheimer's may normally protect the brain from infection. Consents holds that amyloid beta, which is a waste product with no previously know beneficial function is the key actor in Alzheimer's. The build up of amyloid beta, when not cleared, impairs synapses and leads to decreased cognitive ability and memory loss. Understandably, the protein is a major focus for treatment research and development.
A Team of researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital now are proposing a very different story -- that amyloid beta serves a crucial purpose: protecting the brain from invading microbes.