Li Gan, senior author (Cornell University)

A po­ten­tial tar­get for Alzheimer's treat­ment? Re­searchers un­earth new im­mune re­sponse path­way

Most Alzheimer’s drugs, in­clud­ing Bio­gen’s ad­u­canum­ab (Aduhelm) and Eli Lil­ly’s do­nanemab, tar­get amy­loid plaques, mis­fold­ed pro­tein clumps that build up in the brain, which are a hall­mark of Alzheimer’s dis­ease. How­ev­er, re­searchers from Weill Cor­nell have un­cov­ered an al­ter­nate im­mune re­sponse path­way that could be a po­ten­tial tar­get for new ther­a­pies.

In ad­di­tion to amy­loid plaques, Alzheimer’s pa­tients al­so ex­pe­ri­ence the buildup of tau pro­teins in­side their neu­rons. In healthy neu­rons, tau pro­teins help sta­bi­lize mi­cro­tubules that trans­port neu­ro­trans­mit­ters from one end of the neu­ron to the oth­er. How­ev­er, in Alzheimer’s pa­tients, tau pro­teins stick to­geth­er and form tan­gles in the neu­rons that block that trans­port process.

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