Comments by Virginia M.-Y. Lee and John Q. Trojanowski, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

New Twist On Tangles: Research conducted by Penn's John Trojanowski and Virginia Lee suggests that phosphatases may be "lazy," or inactive, in Alzheimer's tangles.

This paper offers a new way of looking at the formation of tangles-a twisted neuronal knot of paired helical filaments (PHFs). PHFs are one of the two primary diagnostic features found in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. (The other is commonly referred to as amyloid plaques, which contain the protein b-amyloid.) This work-led by Virginia M.-Y. Lee and John Q. Trojanowski, both professors of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine-delves into the role of the protein tau in tangles. More specifically, the paper suggests that phosphatases, which remove phosphate from tau, may be inactive or depressed in tangle-bearing neurons in AD patients.


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