New perspective needed for role of major Alzheimer’s gene

Scientists’ picture of how a gene strongly linked to Alzheimer’s disease harms the brain may have to be revised, researchers at the School of Medicine have found. Washington University’s David M. Holtzman, MD, says leading researchers recently agreed that targeting this gene is a promising approach for gaining a better understanding of and improving treatments for the disease.

Genetic markers ID second Alzheimer’s pathway

Researchers at Washington University have identified a new set of genetic markers for Alzheimer’s disease that point to a second pathway through which the disease develops. Much of the genetic research in Alzheimer’s centers on amyloid-beta, a key component of brain plaques in people with the disease. But the new study identified several genes linked to the tau protein, which is found in tangles.

Researchers identify genetic marker of aggressive Alzheimer’s disease

An international team of Alzheimer’s disease experts, led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has uncovered a gene variation that appears to predict the rate at which Alzheimer’s disease will progress. Whereas previous studies have focused on factors that influence the risk for developing Alzheimer’s, the new research points to a way to determine how rapidly the disease will progress. 

Sugar required for healthy brain development

ZebrafishTo learn more about how glucose affects human development, Washington University researchers have developed the first vertebrate model of the role of glucose in embryonic brain development. The model is made up of zebrafish. Their transparent embryos develop similarly to humans, except that they grow outside of the mother’s body, where development can be more easily observed. The model provides the foundation for and insight into the roles of nutrition and genetics in human birth defects.

Research finds sugar required for healthy brain development

ZebrafishTo learn more about how glucose affects human development, Washington University researchers have developed the first vertebrate model of the role of glucose in embryonic brain development. The model is made up of zebrafish. Their transparent embryos develop similarly to humans, except that they grow outside of the mother’s body, where development can be more easily observed. The model provides the foundation for and insight into the roles of nutrition and genetics in human birth defects. The research also may have implications for patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. More…