How inhibiting fat accumulation in the brain could treat Alzheimer's disease
While most of the focus in Alzheimer's disease is on slowing or stopping the degeneration of neurons, a team at the University of Montreal has found that one cause of the disease could lie in a malfunctioning repair pathway in the brain. The researchers found that fat deposits in the brain suppress growth of neural stem cells that normally function to replace damaged neurons, and showed that blocking the fats' synthesis can revive the expansion of the repair cells.
The team hasn't yet shown that reactivating the cells can improve cognitive functions or reverse the disease in preclinical models of AD, but nevertheless believes the findings offer a completely new strategy for tackling the disease.
"Most people in the Alzheimer's disease field are working directly on trying to inhibit neuronal death," said Karl Fernandes, principal investigator on the