New Drugs For Alzheimer’s Disease May Focus On Enzyme That Clogs Cellular Garbage System

Autophagy is a word derived from the Greek that literally means “eating the self.” In terms of your body, autophagy is a process whereby cells will destroy misfolded proteins or breakdown faulty components and then recycle what’s left — essentially, it’s the garbage disposal system of your cells and is a necessary part of your body’s survival.

But in some cases the process becomes disordered and causes disease. In particular, autophagy is believed to be disrupted in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and is thought to cause the signature build-up of protein plaques that clog the brain. Now, a new study from researchers at Kyungpook National University suggests unclogging the body’s protein disposal system could help patients with AD and even improve their memory.

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