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News

In our recent paper we show that neuronal loss in Alzheimer’s disease is the result of a cell quality control mechanism trying to protect the brain from the accumulation of malfunctioning neurons. We have generated fruit flies that express in their brain the human amyloid-beta protein, that forms aggregates in the brains of AD patients. The formation of amyloid-β aggregates in the brain is a crucial step in the development of AD.

These Alzheimer flies display symptoms and pathologies similar to those of AD patients: they show loss of long-term memory, accelerated aging of the brain and motor coordination problems (Movie 1 below). If the culling of malfunctioning neurons is enhanced in this fly model of Alzheimer’s disease, the development of motor and cognitive defects is strongly delayed (see Movie 2). 

Press links: 

http://www.sci-news.com/medicine/beneficial-neuronal-loss-alzheimers-disease-06769.html

https://sicnoticias.sapo.pt/saude-e-bem-estar/2018-12-26-Morte-de-celulas-cerebrais-na-doenca-de-Alzheimer-e-benefica

http://www.jornalmedico.pt/atualidade/36817-estudo-morte-de-neuronios-pode-ser-benefica-na-doenca-de-alzheimer.html

https://expresso.sapo.pt/sociedade/2018-12-27-Alzheimer.-Investigacao-do-Centro-Champalimaud-descobre-que-morte-de-neuronios-ajuda-a-rejuvenescer-o-cerebro#gs.DUpfmpX9

Movie 1: Walking and orientation of Alzheimer flies

Movie 2: Walking of Alzheimer flies where removal of unfit neurons has been enhanced