APR 21, 2022 10:00 AM PDT

Inhibiting a Key Signaling Pathway in Immune Cells Slows Alzheimer's Progression

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

Weill Cornell Medicine researchers recently discovered that inhibiting a key signaling pathway in brain cells can lessen brain inflammation and slow the development of Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. The study was recently published in Nature, and the findings provide valuable insights into developing new therapeutic strategies to treating Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases. 

Many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s Disease, are characterized by brain inflammation that happens when immune cells in the brain are activated. Inflammation causes the spread of abnormal protein growths called tau formations. Tau formations are strands of protein found in neurons, and they stimulate the inflammatory activation of microglia using a multifunctional NF-κB pathway found within the immune cells. When tau tangles are injected into animal brain cells, they create more tau tangles throughout the brain. Rapid increases in the amount of tau tangles indicates the progression of a neurodegenerative disease in which tau has a toxic effect on memory and cognition. 

The researchers noted that inhibiting the NF-κB pathway signaling reversed the inflammatory state of the immune cells and reduced the number of tau tangles. When the NF-kB pathway is inactivated, the microglia is restored to a more normal cell appearance and functioning. Senior author Dr. Li Gan explains the importance of this research for certain brain disorders: “Our findings suggest restraining overactive NF-κB may be a good therapeutic strategy in Alzheimer’s and other tau-mediated neurodegenerative diseases.” Inactivating the NF-kB pathway reduces the spread of tau tangles and prevents cognitive deficit. 

The study indicated that drug treatments that calm overactive microglial NF-κB signaling cells may be more effective than conventional approaches which target amyloid plaques and tau tangles. Gan and her team’s next research steps include closer analysis of how microglial NF-κB signaling impairs neurons and leads to cognitive and memory deficits. 

Sources: 
Eureka News Alert, Nature Communications, Weill Cornell Medicine News

 

About the Author
BA and MA in English, MPS in Human Relations, and Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
You May Also Like
JUN 07, 2022
Neuroscience
Dancing Improves Mental Health
JUN 07, 2022
Dancing Improves Mental Health
  A study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that dance has physical and mental health ...
JUN 03, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
Poultry Vaccine Led to Increase in Antibiotic Resistance in Salmonella
JUN 03, 2022
Poultry Vaccine Led to Increase in Antibiotic Resistance in Salmonella
The Salmonella bacterium is a common cause of foodborne illness, and it isn't unusual to find strains of the microbe in ...
JUN 10, 2022
Neuroscience
Scientists Develop Neurobiological Model to Explore Creativity and Neural Networks
JUN 10, 2022
Scientists Develop Neurobiological Model to Explore Creativity and Neural Networks
A study published in Neuroscience found that different areas of the brain are activated depending on the type of creativ ...
JUN 08, 2022
Plants & Animals
Coffee Reduces the Risk of Kidney Injury
JUN 08, 2022
Coffee Reduces the Risk of Kidney Injury
If you already start your day with a cup of coffee, then you’ll probably be excited to hear that you should contin ...
JUN 16, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis and Romantic Relationship Perceptions
JUN 16, 2022
Cannabis and Romantic Relationship Perceptions
A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that cannabis users may think they have healthy appro ...
JUN 21, 2022
Cardiology
Sudden Cardiac Death and Genetics in Athletes
JUN 21, 2022
Sudden Cardiac Death and Genetics in Athletes
A new publication outlines recommendations for genetic testing in athletes.
Loading Comments...