University of Cambridge
The molecular basis of the innate response to oligomers of beta amyloid and alpha synuclein
Alzheimer's Research UK
The innate immune response is our first line of defence against disease and protects the brain from infection. It appears to play an important role in the development of neurodegenerative disease switching from being protective to being destructive. The cells that are responsible for this response are called microglia and the aim of this project is to work out how they respond to the small clumps of proteins that cause Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease as the number of clumps or size of clumps increases. This will be done by directly watching the receptors on the surface of microglia interacting with the protein clumps and then by following how these cells respond and signal. This should enable us to work out the molecular basis of the response, why the response of microglia changes in the disease and how this might be prevented.