AFA Awards $518K for Study of Neuroimmune Interactions in AD Onset, Progression

AFA Awards $518K for Study of Neuroimmune Interactions in AD Onset, Progression
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) has awarded $518,391 in research grant funding to the Broad Institute and One Mind to study the role of the brain’s immune cells in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The hope is that, with more understanding of immune cells and brain inflammatory processes, scientists can learn more about how Alzheimer's works. In turn, that could lead to new and better treatments for the neurodegenerative disease. Researchers at the Broad Institute and elsewhere are currently exploring a new concept: that Alzheimer’s onset and progression may be fueled by microglia, a type of neuronal support cell that occurs in the central nervous system and that functions chiefly as an immune cell. With increasing patient age, and the factoring in of certain genetics, microglia respond to the protein amyloid-beta — which accumulates in nerve cells and is thought to underlie the development of Alzheimer's — in a way that causes inflammation. Scientists hypothesize that this, in turn, prompts microglia to remove brain synapses, or the junctions between two nerve cells tha
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