Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Cell-stopping Revelation
18 June 2016

Cell-stopping Revelation

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a type of dementia mainly affecting the elderly, its symptoms worsening over time. There’s currently no drug available to treat AD, and a need to better understand the disease itself. Microglia (shown in green and red), which are specialised immune cells of the brain, have been linked to the disease. A build-up of these cells causes inflammation in the brain. Now research has shown that samples from people who had AD have more microglia than samples from people who died without AD. And the more microglia were present, the more severe the AD. The team treated mice with AD characteristics with a drug that stops microglia from accumulating in their brains. They tested these AD mice before and after giving them the drug and found not only that after treatment their memory was better, but also that communication between neurons appeared to have been restored.

Written by Katerina Papadopoulou

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