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Monday 24th October 2016

Scientists research Alzheimer's suntan link

25th August 2009

Scientists in Ireland have said they will look at the link between using suntan lotion containing nanoparticles and Alzheimer's disease.


A team from the Biomedical Sciences Unit at the University of Ulster will examine the idea that nanoparticles can bring about the condition.

A nanoparticle can be measured at between one and 100 nanometres, with a nanometre measuring in at one millionth of a millimetre.

The researchers, led by Professor Vyvyan Howard and Dr Christian Holscher, have been given £350,000 by the European Union to investigate the issue over the next three years.

"The overall science and technology objective of this programme is to determine if engineered nanoparticles could constitute a significant neuro-toxicological risk to humans for two diseases - Alzheimer's and Parkinson's," Professor Howard said.

Their research is part of larger work called NeuroNano which includes European academics at Dublin, Cork, Edinburgh and Munich universities.

The research will look at how nanoparticles found in sun lotion and diesel fuel is connected to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Professor Howard explained: "It has recently been discovered that nanoparticles can have highly significant impacts on the rate of misfolding of key proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases."


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