Thanks to the new high-resolution, atomic-level scans, scientists are hoping to be able to better understand how Alzheimer's takes root in the brain, and what can be done to stop these fibrils from spreading.
This latest model shows the intricate interactions and exact positions of the amyloid beta (Aβ) proteins as they form fibrils, something we haven't been able to get such a close look at before, say the researchers from Germany and the Netherlands.
"This is a milestone on the road to a fundamental understanding of amyloid structures and the related diseases," says one of the team, Dieter Willbold from the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf in Germany.
"The fibril structure answers many questions about the mechanism of fibril growth and identifies the role played by a whole series of familial mutations that lead to early onset of Alzheimer's disease."
Amyloid fibrils are made up from naturally occurring proteins that are normally soluble, but which can go astray and mesh together to form insoluble fibres.