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Polygence Scholar2023
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Ananya Prakhya

Class of 2024



  • "Amyloid beta & tau & alpha synuclein, oh my!" with mentor Merci (Oct. 31, 2023)

Project Portfolio

Amyloid beta & tau & alpha synuclein, oh my!

Started June 23, 2023

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Abstract or project description

More than six million individuals are impacted by Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most prevalent dementia that is fatal. To prevent future generations from living with AD, it is critical to find a cure. There are three proteins found in AD brains – amyloid beta (Aβ), tau, and α-synuclein (α-syn), all of which aggregate into large components that aid in the deterioration of the brain. Aβ forms plaques, tau forms tangles, and α-syn forms Lewy bodies. Past reviews on AD have failed to thoroughly discuss the history of how all three proteins are involved in AD pathogenesis, which is why AD is a relevant area of study worldwide. Fifty-five primary research papers were reviewed to provide an in-depth yet accessible summary of scientific findings on Aβ, tau, and α-syn that contribute to the field of AD. This is the first historical review on AD to discuss Aβ, tau, and α-syn pathology. Although some scientists may believe that targeting a single protein will halt AD progression, targeting all three proteins is necessary to develop a disease-modifying therapeutic. By 2050, the new information about the mechanisms of Aβ, tau, and α-syn protein accumulation should aid the field in finding a cure that reverses and/or prevents brain damage. The future of this research should include rigorous experiments with animal models of AD and human clinical trials.