Gene signature in healthy brains pinpoints the origins of Alzheimer’s disease

Original Publication: Science Advances
Published: 10 August 2016

Alzheimer’s disease is an all too common cause of memory loss and ultimately dementia. To understand how to one day prevent and treat it, it is first important to understand why some parts of the brain get damaged and other bits stay functioning. Every cell in our body has the same genes, from our head to our toes. But cells can use their blueprint to make different proteins and signals, which is why your toe looks different and functions differently to you head.

Researchers from Cambridge have identified that the brain cells that are most susceptible to damage and loss in Alzheimer’s are also uniquely different in the way they harness their genes from those other brain cells that remain immune. Hopefully within this pattern may be a new target for preventing or treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Contact Information

Sarah Collins,, +44-012-237-65542


R. Freer et. al. ‘A protein homeostasis signature in healthy brains recapitulates tissue vulnerability to Alzheimer’s disease.’ Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600947


Professor Michele Vendruscolo, Centre for Misfolding Diseases, Department of Chemistry, Cambridge

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