Neuroscientists at the University of Southampton have actually made a substantial advancement in comprehending how Alzheimer’s disease spreads out through the brain, finding a substantial duration of time where medical intervention might stop its beginning.
A trademark of Alzheimer’s disease is the build-up of tau protein in nerve cells which triggers loss of brain volume. This develop, called neurofibrillary tangles, is formed when an unhealthy variation of tau folds itself improperly. Prior to this research study, released today in The Journal of Neuroscience, really little was understood about the timescale of this procedure and how the misfolded tau proteins infected other cells.
Studying this in a human brain would be too complicated so the group from Southampton produced a circuit of mouse nerve cells grown in a cell culture and presented infected tau proteins to these cells. The scientists observed that the tau really rapidly infected other nerve cells and began to misfold and collect. Nevertheless, in spite of the tau accumulation, it did not trigger aggressive damage and both the contributing and accepting nerve cells stayed practical and capable of sending out electrical messages.
Dr Katrin Deinhardt, speaker in Neuroscience at the University of Southampton who monitored the research study stated: “We saw that misfolding tau was not immediately toxic and that the affected cells could tolerate the build-up better than we anticipated. This is a really positive outcome and highlights that there is a window of time where therapeutic intervention could take place to rescue neurons with tau pathology.”
Grace Hallinan, a PhD trainee at the University of Southampton when she performed this research study, included: “We were really excited to find that neurons with misfolded tau could remain healthy, because this suggests they could be saved before the occurrence of the cell death that leads to brain shrinkage and memory problems. We hope that our findings will encourage further research into this therapeutic window in order to slow or even stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease”
Dr James Connell, Research Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, stated:
“We are thrilled to have actually supported this research study to discover more about how irregular tau protein spreads out through the brain and damages afferent neuron.
“Spreading of irregular tau is a well-studied target for future Alzheimer’s treatments and comprehending more about its results is a vital objective of dementia research study.
“This study highlights an early opportunity to target tau and modify disease progression. Other research teams will now build on this information. Alzheimer’s Research UK is currently funding more research in this area so that we leave no stone unturned in the search for life-changing treatments.”
The research study was moneyed by Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Biotechnical and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
Source : University of Southampton