Neuroscience

A primate model of Alzheimer's disease

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Science  24 Oct 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6208, pp. 436-437
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6208.436-c

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disease that leads to dementia and eventual death. Soluble aggregates of amyloid-β peptides (oligomers) accumulate in Alzheimer's brains and strongly impair cognitive function. Most of our knowledge about the disease comes from studying rodents, which are imperfect models. In an attempt to develop a better disease model, Forny-Germano et al. injected amyloid-β oligomers into the brain ventricles of macaques. The authors detected the proteins in nerve cells in several memory-related regions of the brain. There they triggered typical Alzheimer's pathologies such as synapse loss and activation of microglia cells and astrocytes. Given the similarities between human and macaque brains, this model may be an important step toward understanding Alzheimer's pathogenesis and developing effective therapies.

J. Neurosci. 34, 13629 (2014).

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CREDIT: E.J. PETERSON ET AL., NATURE COMMUNICATIONS 5, 4885 © 2014 MACMILLAN PUBLISHERS LIMITED

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