Research just published in Nature links Alzheimer’s disease and prion diseases. The prion protein is the receptor for amyloid-beta, the peptide that makes up Alzheimer’s plaques. It’s not my area, but Ed’s explanation is fascinating. This could be big, so go read the details at Not Exactly Rocket Science:
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia in the world, affecting more than 26 million people. Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (CJD), another affliction is far less common, but both conditions share many of the same qualities. They are fatal within a few years of diagnosis, they are incurable and they involved the crippling degeneration of the brain’s neurons. Now, a group of Yale researchers have discovered that the two diseases are also linked by a pair of critical proteins.