How the Brain's Support Cells Interact with Fats and Contribute to Alzheimer's Disease
Astrocytes are cells that provide support to nerve cells in the brain. One of their jobs is to process and deliver fats, or lipids, to nerve cells to ensure their function and survival. In Alzheimer's disease, astrocytes may fail to offer the appropriate lipid support, leaving neurons to become dysfunctional or even degenerate.
Till Zimmer, PhD, and his colleagues will take a first look at how different factors affect how astrocytes process lipids in dementia. They will use a lab model of Alzheimer's disease to profile these effects.
The group also plans to assess how the newly identified astrocyte-processed lipids affect nerve cell function. This work is expected to add links to the chain connecting how the brain uses lipids and related processes in the development of Alzheimer's disease.