Lack of sleep could help promote the development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to two studies from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The studies could help identify people at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia and point to strategies for prevention.
The School of Medicine led an international trial evaluating whether investigational drugs could slow memory loss and cognitive decline in a rare, inherited form of Alzheimer’s disease. The trial was conducted at 24 sites in Australia, Canada, France, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
School of Medicine researchers have received $29 million from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health to continue a long-running, international Alzheimer’s study aimed at understanding how the disease develops and progresses.
In celebration of another year of change and discovery at Washington University in St. Louis, the Source shares some of its most-read stories of 2019.
A School of Medicine study has found that brain immune cells called microglia form the crucial link between protein clumping and brain damage. Suppressing such cells might prevent or delay the onset of dementia in people.
A team led by researchers at the School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified a pair of genes that influence risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The genes — known as MS4A4A and TREM2 — affect the brain’s immune cells. They influence Alzheimer’s risk by altering levels of TREM2, a protein that is believed to help microglia cells clear excessive amounts of the Alzheimer’s proteins amyloid and tau from the brain.
A blood test to detect the brain changes of early Alzheimer’s disease has moved one step closer to reality. Researchers from the School of Medicine report that they can measure levels of the Alzheimer’s protein amyloid beta in the blood and use such levels to predict whether the protein has accumulated in the brain.
Researchers at the School of Medicine have found that immune cells that typically protect neurons from damage may be the link between such early and late brain changes in Alzheimer’s disease. Breaking that link could lead to new approaches to delay or prevent the disease.
A study in mice and people from the School of Medicine shows that sleep deprivation causes tau levels to rise and tau tangles to spread through the brain, accelerating Alzheimer’s brain damage.
A simple blood test reliably detects signs of brain damage in people on the path to developing Alzheimer’s disease – even before they show signs of confusion and memory loss, according to a new study from the School of Medicine and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases.