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Tau: Why Alzheimer’s Worsens Fast in Some, Slowly in Others

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-06-22 Research News Why do some people with AD slide rapidly into severe dementia, while others decline gradually over more than a decade? Part of the answer could come down to which biochemical forms of tau inhabit a person’s brain, suggests a study published ...

Boost or Block TREM2? Either Way, Therapy May Need Careful Timing

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-06-22 Research News Ever since the R47H partial-loss-of-function variant of the microglial receptor TREM2 was found to increase risk for Alzheimer’s disease, scientists have wondered if boosting TREM2 signaling would be protective. Alas, exploiting this ...

Does Common Structure Explain Cross-Seeding of Fibrils?

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-06-19 Research News Amyloid-β is not the only component of the senile plaques that mark Alzheimer’s disease. Are the others mere bystanders that get caught in a web of Aβ fibrils, or are they more nefarious, instigating growth of these deposits? For the protein ...

Human Blood-Brain Barrier Model Blames Pericytes for CAA

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-06-15 Research News The full complexity of the blood-brain barrier, with its different cell types acting together, has been difficult to model in vitro. In the June 8 Nature Medicine, researchers led by Li-Huei Tsai at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ...

TMEM106B Variants Regulate Gene Modules, TDP-43 Pathology

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-06-12 Research News Just as birds of a feather flock together, genes involved in common biological pathways often soar and fall in unison, at least when it comes to their expression. If that is so, then shouldn’t a genetic variant that affects one of those co ...

Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Raise Odds of Alzheimer’s

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-06-12 Research News Living in an underserved neighborhood has been linked to all manner of health problems and disadvantages, and a new study adds Alzheimer’s disease to the list. In a paper published June 11 in JAMA Network Open, researchers led by Amy Kind at ...

GnomAD: Stunning Variation Seen in Largest Collection of Human Genomes

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-06-06 Research News In seven papers in Nature journals published May 27, the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD) consortium unleashed analyses of 125,748 exomes and 15,708 whole genomes, hailing from unrelated people living on six continents across the globe. ...

Low-Dose BACE Inhibitors Might Preserve Synaptic Function

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-06-05 Research News BACE inhibitors, with their ability to squelch Aβ production, seemed like a promising preventative therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, their trials foundered, with some of them worsening cognition in an apparent class effect (Dec ...

New Astrocyte Marker Allows Purification from Mixed Cultures

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-06-05 Research News Astrocytes have been implicated in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, but these beautiful, star-shaped cells are notoriously difficult to study. Animal models are little help, because their astrocytes are quite different from ...

Without SORL1, Endosomes Swell in Neurons but not Microglia

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-06-02 Research News Scientists have linked loss-of-function mutations in SORL1 to overproduction of Aβ and to early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Now, in the June 2 Cell Reports, researchers led by Jessica Young at the University of Washington, Seattle, report ...

Shiny SEQUIN: New Technique Counts Synapses Over Large Brain Volumes

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-06-01 Research News Synapses are central in Alzheimer’s disease, but they are hard to study. The microscopic techniques that offer a glimpse at these tiny structures require expensive equipment and laborious ultra-sectioning of brain tissue, and cover only very ...

Molecular Transport Vehicle Shuttles Therapies into Brain

RESEARCH NEWS 2020-05-29 Research News Researchers have devised a new way to sneak therapeutic cargo across the blood-brain barrier. Into the constant region of a human IgG1 antibody, they slid a domain that latches onto receptors that carry transferrin into the brain. On the ...

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