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News | Alzheimer's disease | Parkinson's disease | Neurodegenerative diseases
At a joint meeting of the French Academies of Medicine and Pharmacy held 19 November 2019, Ronald Melki of the Neurodegenerative Diseases Laboratory (MIRCen/CEA-Jacob) gave a descriptive review of experimental elements enabling a better understanding of infectious proteinopathy in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
That review, entitled "The infectious proteinopathies of Parkinson and Alzheimer," is available in the March 2020 edition of the Bulletin de l'Académie Nationale de Médecine.
The purpose of the joint meeting of the academies was
to take stock of risk factors, prevention strategies, diagnostics, and novel
therapeutic hopes and approaches in Alzheimer's disease.
Age-related neurodegenerative pathologies such as
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases are characterized by the appearance of
aggregates of proteins in the central nervous system. The composition and the
distribution of the protein aggregates in the brain differ from one disease to
another. The team headed by Ronald Melki demonstrated that once formed, the
protein aggregates spread in the central nervous system in an infection-like
manner. At the joint meeting, he discussed a range of points that enable a
better experimental understanding of the proteinopathic nature of these
diseases. The protein aggregates are deleterious from the start, as soon as
they affix to the neuron. They grow and propagate from neuron to neuron by
entering the cells via a particular mechanism and thereafter travelling along
Ronald Melki also detailed how the aggregation
of a same protein in different configurations results in distinct
neurodegenerative diseases and why different therapeutic approaches are needed
to target the propagation of these variable pathological protein aggregates.
Since 2019, the Bulletin of the National Academy of Medicine is edited in partnership with Elsevier-Masson. The Academy's complete reports are available on its website. Other texts can be obtained on the EM consulte website. (French links)
Consult the program (in French) of the joint meeting held 19 November
Introductory video (in French):
"Infectious hypothesis: Alois Alzheimer and other
neurodegenerative diseases," by Ronald Melki
Les protéinopathies infectieuses
de Parkinson et d’Alzheimer, R. Melki I Bulletin de l’Académie de Médecine (Volume
204, Issue 3, March 2020, Pages 224-231)
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.