One of the hallmarks of Alzheimers disease is the accumulation of amyloid plaques between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. Amyloid is a general term for protein fragments that the body produces normally. Beta amyloid is a fragment of a protein snipped from another protein called amyloid precursor protein (APP). In a healthy brain, these protein fragments would break down and be eliminated. In Alzheimer's disease, the fragments accumulate to form hard, insoluble plaques.
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