r/science Oct 06 '22

The largest study of its kind to look at DNA methylation in Alzheimer’s disease found that many of the changes in Alzheimer’s disease are in brain cells other than neurons, the cells that actually die as the disease progresses Neuroscience

https://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/research/title_932035_en.html
103 Upvotes

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u/SerialStateLineXer Oct 07 '22 edited Oct 07 '22

New research - which studied genomic changes in different types of brain cell - has yielded a potentially surprising result: many of the changes in Alzheimer’s disease are in brain cells other than neurons, the cells that actually die as the disease progresses.

This isn't really surprising. It's been known for some time that glial cells play an important role in neurodegeneration. See, for example, this lit review from 2020.

Edit: In particular, there's some evidence that senescent glial cells are a key culprit, meaning that there's a good chance that senolytic drugs may turn out to be a viable treatment for multiple neurodegenerative diseases. It's insane how long it's taking to act on this.