Studying brain scans and cerebrospinal fluid of healthy adults, scientists have shown that changes in key markers of Alzheimer’s disease during midlife may help identify those who will develop dementia years later, according to new research.
Increased brain cell activity boosts brain fluid levels of a protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research from scientists at the School of Medicine. Senior author David M. Holtzman, MD, said the findings should help advance efforts to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders associated with the tau protein.
Studying spinal fluid from people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, School of Medicine researchers have found that a gene variation that had not been considered risky actually can increase the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease when it occurs in tandem with another gene variant known to elevate risk. Shown is an image of a brain with a buildup of amyloid deposits (highest amounts in yellow and red) that collect to form senile plaques in patients with Alzheimer’s.
A long-term study of older adults led by Anne Fagan (right) has helped validate a new system for identifying and classifying older adults with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Many researchers think this stage of the disease, which can last a decade or more, is critical window for slowing or stopping Alzheimer’s treatments.
School of Medicine scientists have found a way that corrupted, disease-causing proteins spread in the brain, potentially contributing to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other brain-damaging disorders. Pictured are clumps of corrupted tau protein outside a nerve cell, as seen through an electron micrograph.
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.
High levels of tau protein in fluid bathing the brain are linked to poor recovery after head trauma, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Fondazione IRCCS Ca Granda-Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan, Italy. The results were reported online Nov. 23 in the journal Brain.
One of the most promising markers of Alzheimer’s disease, previously thought only to be inside nerve cells, now appears to be normally released from nerve cells throughout life, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.