Anisotropic diffusion and traveling waves of toxic proteins in neurodegenerative diseases

Author: 

Kevrekedis, P
Thompson, T
Goriely, A

Publication Date: 

8 October 2020

Journal: 

Physics Letters A

Last Updated: 

2021-10-19T13:24:01.83+01:00

Issue: 

36

Volume: 

384

DOI: 

10.1016/j.physleta.2020.126935

abstract: 

Neurodegenerative diseases are closely associated with the amplification and invasion of toxic proteins. In particular Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the systematic progression of amyloid-β and τ-proteins in the brain. These two protein families are coupled and it is believed that their joint presence greatly enhances the resulting damage. Here, we examine a class of coupled chemical kinetics models of healthy and toxic proteins in two spatial dimensions. The anisotropic diffusion expected to take place within the brain along axonal pathways is factored in the models and produces a filamentary, predominantly one-dimensional transmission. Nevertheless, the potential of the anisotropic models towards generating interactions taking advantage of the two-dimensional landscape is showcased. Finally, a reduction of the models into a simpler family of generalized Fisher-Kolmogorov-Petrovskii-Piskunov (FKPP) type systems is examined. It is seen that the latter captures well the qualitative propagation features, although it may somewhat underestimate the concentrations of the toxic proteins.

Symplectic id: 

1136184

Submitted to ORA: 

Submitted

Publication Type: 

Journal Article