Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain Cells 'Supercharged' To Attack Plaques That Cause Alzheimer’s Disease

Date:
August 26, 2008
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Researchers at the University of British Columbia have discovered a new method for developing treatments for Alzheimer's Disease (AD). They have shown that by stimulating a brain cell called a microglia the cells will partially engulf the senile plaques which are abundant in post mortem AD brain.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have discovered a new method for developing treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). They have shown that by stimulating a brain cell called a microglia the cells will partially engulf the senile plaques which are abundant in post mortem AD brain.

The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, marks the first time that this phenomenon, believed to take place in living brain, has been duplicated in the laboratory. It offers a new approach to finding an effective treatment for the disease.

The research team found that the plaques themselves are not sufficient microglial activators. But when the microglia were treated with inflammatory stimulants, they attacked the plaques.

“It is very exciting to watch under a microscope the way these microglial cells gather around and attach to the plaques just as we believe is taking place in Alzheimer brains” said Dr. Sadayuki Hashioka lead author on the paper.

Microglia are cells found in the central nervous system that act as the brain’s immune cell. The human brain has approximately 14 billion microglia that patrol different areas of the brain and migrate to a site of injury to help restore normal functioning.

“It is widely believed that AD is caused by the accumulation of the beta amyloid protein in senile plaques,” says Patrick McGeer professor emeritus in UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. “In AD patients, microglia are not coping with the plaque build-up. Therefore plaques accumulate faster than the microglia can digest them. If we can enhance microglial digestion of these plaques, we will have a fighting chance to eliminate AD.”

“This new approach is a way of screening agents against the real disease rather than mouse models of the disease. It is just a first step in finding new ways to treat AD,” says McGeer. “The next step is to find a therapeutic drug that will stimulate the microglia to devour the plaques.”

AD is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration and is the most common form of dementia.

The Alzheimer Society of Canada estimates that there are approximately 500,000 Canadians suffering from dementia and that the true direct and indirect costs of their care is $12-$15 billion per year.

The research was supported by the Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation (http://www.parf.ca).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sadayuki Hashioka, Judith Miklossy, Claudia Schwab, Andis Klegeris, Patrick L. McGeer. Adhesion of exogenous human microglia and THP-1 cells to amyloid plaques of postmortem Alzheimer%u2019s disease brain. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Volume 14, Number 3, July 2008

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Brain Cells 'Supercharged' To Attack Plaques That Cause Alzheimer’s Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825194705.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2008, August 26). Brain Cells 'Supercharged' To Attack Plaques That Cause Alzheimer’s Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825194705.htm
University of British Columbia. "Brain Cells 'Supercharged' To Attack Plaques That Cause Alzheimer’s Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825194705.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins