Immune cells of the brain become active years before the disease becomes apparent
Munich (Germany), December 14th, 2016. Little is known about the role of the brain‘s immune system in Alzheimer's disease. Researchers at the Munich site of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the hospital of the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) Munich have now found an early immune response in individuals with a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer‘s: their brain’s showed abnormal immune reactions as early as about seven years before the expected onset of dementia. These results demonstrate that in cases of Alzheimer‘s, inflammatory processes in the brain evolve dynamically and are precursors of dementia. These immune responses can be detected by means of a protein in the cerebrospinal fluid, offering physicians the possibility to trace the progression of the disease. The study results are published in the journal “Science Translational Medicine”.