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Enzyme SSH1 impairs disposal of accumulating cellular garbage, leading to brain cell death

In a healthy brain, the multistep waste clearance process known as autophagy routinely removes and degrades damaged cell components—including malformed proteins like tau and toxic mitochondria. This cellular debris would otherwise pile up like uncollected trash to drive the death of brain cells (neurons), ultimately destroying cognitive abilities like thinking, remembering and reasoning in patients with Alzheimer’s and certain other neurodegenerative diseases.