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Can Induced Neurons Identify Early Signs of Neurodegeneration?

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-09-07 Conference Coverage Researchers have linked dozens of genetic loci to late-onset Alzheimer’s disease and found dozens more that cause familial forms of AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Teasing out how each contributes to pathology has proven a ...

Islands of Tau Coat and Protect Cytoskeleton

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-09-06 Research News Two papers in the September 2 Nature Cell Biology present complementary evidence that tau condenses into a patchwork of rafts that coat microtubules. These patches share some properties with phase-separated liquid droplets of tau that have ...

Are Microglia Plaque Factories?

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-09-04 Research News Are microglia the masterminds of amyloid plaque formation? In the August 21 Nature Communications, researchers led by Kim Green at the University of California, Irvine, suggest these cells seed amyloid deposits. In a mouse model of ...

Smart Homes Open Doors to Insights into Aging, Dementia

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-30 Conference Coverage Replicating existing paper-and-pencil tests on tablets or smartphones is one thing (Part 13 of this series), but what about taking technology itself to the next level? What are the prospects for continuously collecting information on ...

Technology Brings Dementia Detection to the Home

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-30 Conference Coverage The past decade has seen increasing use of technology in dementia research. Computer games that provide cognitive training have become part of prevention studies, and trialists are working to move cognitive testing out of the clinic ...

Raw Deal: Lose Ataxin, Gain BACE

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-08-29 Research News CAG trinucleotide repeat expansions in the ataxin-1 gene cause spinocerebellar ataxia type 1, a fatal neurodegenerative disease. Curiously, variants of this same gene, sans trinucleotide repeat expansions, associate with risk for Alzheimer’s ...

In Alzheimer’s, More TREM2 Is Good for You

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-08-29 Research News Certain mutations in TREM2 strongly increase risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s. Could tweaking the function of this microglial receptor help people with the disease? A new study suggests as much. In the August 28 Science Translational Medicine ...

Nixing Complement Protein Protects Neurons in Tauopathy Model

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-08-25 Research News Complement proteins may be helpful when it comes to rallying clearance of hazardous debris from the brain, but scientists believe the immune activators can also inflict irreparable damage to neurons and their synapses. A paper published ...

Blood Pressure: How Low to Prevent Dementia—and When?

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-08-23 Research News Mounting evidence suggests midlife hypertension negatively affects late-life cognition and that treating it could help. Three new papers support this idea. In the August 20 Lancet, researchers led by Marcus Richards, Nick Fox, and Jonathan ...

Spatial Transcriptomics Uncovers Coordinated Cell Responses to Amyloid

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-08-23 Research News With single-cell resolution, scientists now have a good idea of what amyloid plaques do to nearby cells in the brains of mice. Scientists led by Bart De Strooper, KU Leuven, Belgium, used a combination of spatial transcriptomics and in situ ...

Newly Identified Microglia Contain Lipid Droplets, Harm Brain

RESEARCH NEWS 2019-08-23 Research News Microglia in the brain assume a dizzying array of states. Now researchers led by Tony Wyss-Coray at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, describe a new one: lipid droplet-accumulating microglia (LAM). These lipid-stuffed cells ...

Proteomics Uncovers Potential Markers, Subtypes of Alzheimer’s

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-22 Conference Coverage In the last three decades, scientists have made strides in using biomarkers to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and track its progression. Along with cerebrospinal fluid Aβ, tau, and phospho-tau, a handful of new markers, such as ...

Synaptic Proteins in CSF: New Markers of Cognitive Decline?

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-22 Conference Coverage Plasma tests for Aβ and phospho-tau may have stolen the show at this year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, held July 14-18 in Los Angeles, but proteomic and synaptic markers were not that far behind. A neural ...

Why Bother With Round Robins on Blood Tests? Q&A with Kaj Blennow

CONFERENCE COVERAGE 2019-08-21 Conference Coverage At the AAIC conference held July 14–18 in Los Angeles, Kaj Blennow of the University of Gothenburg had his hands full trying to get researchers in the field engaged in the nitpicky drudgery of validation, standardization, and ...

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