AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 2, 2020


Restoring Brain Function in Mice with Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

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A study in mice shows that selectively removing cells that are no longer dividing from the brains of mice with a form of Alzheimer’s disease can reduce brain damage and inflammation, and slow the pace of cognitive decline. These findings, say researchers, add to evidence that such senescent cells contribute to the damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease in people.

“Our results show that eliminating these cells may be a viable route to treat Alzheimer’s disease in humans,” says Mark Mattson, Ph.D., senior investigator in the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging and professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Alzheimer’s disease is an age-related degenerative disease of the brain that affects an estimated 5.8 million Americans. The most common cause of age-related dementia, the disorder is marked by the aggregation of amyloid proteins, which can kill off surrounding neurons. The areas of amyloid accumulation and associated nerve cell death, called plaques, are a hallmark of the disease. To date there are no known successful treatments for the disease, and as these plaques begin to form, patients experience progressive memory loss, learning impairment and, in later stages, delusions and paranoia.

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