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AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 4, 2018

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One type of brain cell may invite Alzheimer’s

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Research on toxic proteins could drive treatment strategies

Better tactics for detecting, preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease depend on a clearer understanding of cellular-level changes in the minds of patients, and a new study has uncovered novel details about the vulnerability of one type of brain cell. 

Researchers found that excitatory neurons – those that are more likely to trigger an action (as opposed to inhibitory neurons, which are less likely to prompt neural activity) – are more vulnerable to accumulations of abnormal tau protein, which is increasingly being implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. 

The study also uncovered some possible genetic explanations for the vulnerability of those cells, work that has the potential to one day lead to targeted treatment. 

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