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Tau Linked to a Specific Brain Area and Function in Alzheimer’s Disease

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Earlier this week, University of Minnesota researchers said that they have established a firm relationship between the Tau protein and Alzheimer’s disease. Tau has long been considered a biomarker for onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists now say that an early buildup of tau in the dendritic spines, a region of the brain responsible for electrochemical stimulation, can cause memory loss by disrupting communications between brain cells. The study was published in the December 22nd issue of the journal Neuron (link below).

Dr. Karen Ashe, M.D., Ph.D., one of the study author, said:

Research has shown that healthy neurons have more tau in the axon and less in the cell body and dendrites, and that this gradient is reversed in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. Although studies have shown that accumulation of tau in dendrites induced neurodegeneration, they do not address how tau diminished brain function at preclinical disease stages preceding neurodegeneration.

Study: Tau Mislocalization to Dendritic Spines Mediates Synaptic Dysfunction Independently of Neurodegeneration

Source: MedCityNews