Alzheimer’s disease update

Cambridge research: Molecule identified that may halt the progress of Alzheimer’s disease

In 2015, scientists at Cambridge University, in collaboration with centres in Sweden and Estonia, identified a molecule that can prevent the aggregation of harmful ‘amyloid-beta’ proteins found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The molecule, known as a ‘molecular chaperone’, binds to the surface of amyloid-beta fibrils, preventing them from joining together into complexes that are toxic to neurones.

These are early results, but this breakthrough alludes to the possibility of preventing the development of Alzheimer’s disease before it can truly get started.


Cohen SI, Arosio P, Presto J, et al. A molecular chaperone breaks the catalytic cycle that generates toxic amyloid-beta oligomers. Nat Struct Mol Biol 2015; 22 (3): 207–213.

Chris Watling

Chris Watling  PhD

Principal Medical Writer

Oct 2015