Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have unlocked several important pieces of information about Alzheimer’s Disease: exactly where it starts, why it starts there, and how the disease spreads.
They’ve identified the specific part of the brain where Alzheimer’s starts- the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC). The LEC normally accumulates tau, which makes it more likely to accumulate a specific protein called APP- and the combination of tau and APP damages neurons. Not good.
And Alzheimer’s spreads like a domino effect. When neurons are compromised in the LEC, the neurons in surrounding areas also become compromised- including the hippocampus, which plays an important role in long-term memory storage.
Researchers used fMRI imaging and worked with humans and mice to discover this information. By showing that early changes can be detected using fMRI- and knowing exactly how the process works- detecting the disease before it spreads could be much easier. And this new imaging method could be a very helpful way to determine effectiveness of potential drugs! Read more here: