A new study by scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine revealed that a gene mutation linked to Alzheimer's alters a signaling pathway in certain immune cells. The results of this test reveals that there may be a way to stop the development of Alzheimer's or slow the progression of it.
The team focused on microglia, immune cells of the central nervous system that are the first to respond if anything goes wrong. According to Dr Li Gan, " Microglia are guardians of the brain under healthy conditions, but can turn detrimental in disease conditions. Our goal is to identify how they become toxic and contribute to Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis and whether we can identify immune modulators to reverse the toxicity without diminishing their normal protective function."
To examine how the immune cells in the brain contributes to Alzheimer's disease, Dr. Gan and her team obtained a molecule fingerprint in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease who carry the TERM2 gene, a receptor that signals through an enzyme named AKT to modulate inflammation and metabolism.
The team then set up a mouse model by combining two strains, one that carries the AD-linked mutation and one that exhibits Tau aggregates. Both the patients and mice demonstrated momory-related.