Brain cell activity regulates Alzheimer’s protein​

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.​

Unlikely gene variants work together to raise Alzheimer’s risk

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.

Alzheimer’s progression tracked prior to dementia

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.

Receptor may aid spread of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in brain

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.

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.