Enzyme linked to Alzheimer's also may be good for you

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An enzyme that is believed to cause Alzheimer's disease may actually benefit the body in other ways.

Researchers from Europe and the United States said that beta-secretase, which plays an important role in the development of the protein clumps called beta-amyloid in Alzheimer's disease and dementia, is also involved in myelination, the formation of a protective covering for nerve cells early in life. They believe that interrupting that activity could contribute to nerve damage.

Researchers conducted the study in infant mice, at a time when the protective covering forms. The research appears in the Sept. 21 online issue of Science.
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