Brains of old monkeys and humans share same signs of Alzheimer's

December 20, 2017 by Bill Hathaway, Yale University
Brains of old monkeys and humans share same signs of Alzheimer’s
Mature neurofibrillary tangle in the brain of an extremely old rhesus monkey; tissue from the National Institute on Aging tissue bank. Credit: P. Rapp

Very old rhesus monkeys exhibit similar patterns of brain pathology as human Alzheimer's patients, researchers report in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia.

Researchers at Yale, collaborating with those at Boston University and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, examined brain samples from tissue banks of monkeys that had reached extreme age, and observed forming in the same types of neurons as seen in humans. The pathological changes were first evident in the , the gateway needed to form new memories, and later appeared in the , a newly evolved brain region associated with higher cognition and abstract reasoning.

Researchers have been hampered in studying this more common, late-onset form of Alzheimer's, a condition impossible to model in mice.

"We hope that we will now have the opportunity to learn what is initiating Alzheimer's disease-like pathology in the aging brain," said lead author Constantinos Paspalas, research scientist in Department of Neuroscience at Yale.

"This new information may provide novel therapeutic strategies to protect against early stages of degeneration, and thus decrease the risk of Alzheimer's disease," added senior author, Amy Arnsten, professor of neuroscience.

Explore further: Higher brain glucose levels may mean more severe Alzheimer's

More information: Constantinos D. Paspalas et al. The aged rhesus macaque manifests Braak stage III/IV Alzheimer's-like pathology, Alzheimer's & Dementia (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.jalz.2017.11.005

Related Stories

Higher brain glucose levels may mean more severe Alzheimer's

November 6, 2017
For the first time, scientists have found a connection between abnormalities in how the brain breaks down glucose and the severity of the signature amyloid plaques and tangles in the brain, as well as the onset of eventual ...

How age opens the gates for Alzheimer's

March 18, 2014
With advancing age, highly-evolved brain circuits become susceptible to molecular changes that can lead to neurofibrillary tangles—a hallmark of Alzheimer's Disease, Yale researchers report the week of March 17 in the Proceedings ...

Researchers help find pathologic hallmarks of Alzheimer's in aged chimpanzee brains

August 1, 2017
Dementia affects one-third of all people older than 65 years in the United States. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, a progressive, irreversible brain disease that results in impaired cognitive functioning ...

Drug restores cells and memories in Alzheimer's mouse models

July 6, 2017
A new drug can restore memories and connections between brain cells in mice with a model of Alzheimer's disease, a new Yale-led study suggests.

Abnormal brain protein may contribute to Alzheimer's disease development

September 30, 2016
A recently-recognized pathologic protein in the brain may play a larger role in the development of clinical Alzheimer's disease dementia than previously recognized, according to a study by researchers at Rush University Medical ...

Study shows Alzheimer's disease may spread by 'jumping' from one brain region to another

February 1, 2012
For decades, researchers have debated whether Alzheimer's disease starts independently in vulnerable brain regions at different times, or if it begins in one region and then spreads to neuroanatomically connected areas. A ...

Recommended for you

Scientists discover why some people with brain markers of Alzheimer's have no dementia

August 16, 2018
A new study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has uncovered why some people that have brain markers of Alzheimer's never develop the classic dementia that others do. The study is now available in the ...

Researchers identify new genes that may contribute to Alzheimer's disease

August 14, 2018
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine, working with scientists across the nation on the Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP), have discovered new genes that will further current understanding of the ...

Deaths from resident-to-resident incidents in dementia offers insights to inform policy

August 14, 2018
Analyzing the incidents between residents in dementia in long-term care homes may hold the key to reducing future fatalities among this vulnerable population, according to new research from the University of Minnesota School ...

Scientists propose a new lead for Alzheimer's research

August 14, 2018
A University of Adelaide-led team of scientists has suggested a potential link between iron in our cells and the rare gene mutations that cause Alzheimer's disease, which could provide new avenues for future research.

Eye conditions provide new lens screening for Alzheimer's disease

August 8, 2018
Alzheimer's disease is difficult to diagnose as well as treat, but researchers now have a promising new screening tool using the window to the brain: the eye.

Potential indicator for the early detection of dementias

August 7, 2018
Researchers at the University of Basel have discovered a factor that could support the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's. This cytokine is induced by cellular stress reactions ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.