Characterization of Beta Amyloid Formation and Its Effect on Alzheimer's Disease
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease and terminal form of dementia that affects more than 27 million people worldwide. Among a large group of protein folding diseases, AD acts through the deposition and aggregation of β-amyloid (Aβ) within the brain’s blood vessels and outside senile plaques. The kinetics of Aβ42 was studied using thioflavin T fluorescence measurements to determine the formation of amyloid over time. Various purification techniques were compared in order to define the techniques necessary to effectively isolate monomeric Aβ42 before characterizing the formation of Aβ in vitro. The extreme conditions of ultracentrifugation were found to best isolate monomeric Aβ42. After further characterization of amyloidosis, future experimentation will utilize the screening of an oligopeptide library to identify sequences that bind to and possibly inhibit, promote, or dissolve formation of Aβ42 amyloid, which could lead to enhanced treatment of AD or the development of new drugs.