Genetic Variation in Individual Brain Cell Types May Predict Disease Risk

Researchers identified non-coding regions of the human genome that control the development and function of four brain cell types and mapped genetic risk variants for psychiatric diseases. They found that risk variants for Alzheimer’s disease were enriched in microglia-specific regulatory elements.

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Link between brain immune cells and Alzheimer’s disease development identified

Irvine, Calif., Aug. 21, 2019 — Scientists from the University of California, Irvine School of Biological Sciences have discovered how to forestall Alzheimer’s disease in a laboratory setting, a finding that could one day help in devising targeted drugs that prevent it. The researchers found that by removing brain immune cells known as microglia from rodent models of Alzheimer’s disease, beta-amyloid plaques – the hallmark pathology of AD – never formed.

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