University of Edinburgh
Targeting tau to prevent Abeta mediated synapse degeneration in Alzheimers
Alzheimer's Research UK
Alzheimer's disease & other dementias
Memory is made possible by the ability of synapses, the connections between neurons in the brain, to change in response to environmental inputs. In Alzheimers disease, memory declines because synapses and neurons become dysfunctional and die. In fact, loss of synapses very strongly corresponds to the severity of dementia in Alzheimers patients. The goal of this project is to find out whether the two key disease-causing proteins in Alzheimers amyloid beta and tau act together to cause this synaptic degeneration. Further, we will test whether therapeutic treatments to reduce tau levels in the brain can halt memory and synapse loss. This study is important, as it will provide new insights into mechanisms of synapse loss in Alzheimers and should lead to new therapies to treat this debilitating disease.