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Alzheimer's disease (AD)

Microtubule-associated protein-t (MAPT; tau;

Mouse imaging studies suggest insoluble tau aggregates may be a side effect rather than a cause in AD. In the visual cortex of mice overexpressing a human mutant form of tau (P301L), neurofibrillary tangle (NFT)-bearing neurons were functionally intact and indistinguishable from non-NFT-bearing neurons. Next steps could include assessing the impact of NFTs on neurons at distinct locations in the brain or at later time points during disease.
At least four companies have compounds or antibodies that target tau in Phase I or earlier development to treat AD.

SciBX 7(3); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.92
Published online Jan. 23, 2014

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Kuchibhotla, K.V. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online
Dec. 24, 2013;
Contact: Bradley T. Hyman, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Mass.