Scientific American article on PSP research as a “backdoor” to Alzheimer’s

Very longtime group member Sam M. emailed this to me yesterday. It’s a nice article in yesterday’s “Scientific American” about how PSP is providing a backdoor to Alzheimer’s research.

Both PSP and Alzheimer’s are tauopathies but PSP is a “pure” tauopathy. So, if we can solve the problem of tau in PSP, we can solve the tau problem in Alzheimer’s. Another reason PSP is of interest is because PSP’s genetic link to tau is stronger than Alzheimer’s. Further, somewhat sadly, the decline in PSP is faster than the decline in Alzheimer’s, so researchers can study a drug more quickly in PSP.

Note that researchers are interested in enrolling Richardson’s Syndrome patients. This is the type of PSP where the tau load is the heaviest and brain atrophy is the fastest.

IMPORTANT – we know about PSP’s genetic link to tau and all about Richardson’s Syndrome because of brain donation. Indeed, Sam M.’s partner donated her brain as have many, many of our group members.

These ideas have been around now for several years but it’s nice to see coverage of it in a great magazine like “Scientific American.”

Scientific American: Neurological Health
“Obscure Disease May Offer Backdoor to New Treatments for Alzheimer’s and Other Killers”
By Esther Landhuis on June 8, 2016
Progressive supranuclear palsy has become a test bed for therapies aimed at the tau protein thought to be behind many devastating neurodegenerative disorders