Iron spreading patterns in Alzheimer's disease

Principal Investigator

Co-Principal Investigator

  • Boyd  Kenkhuis, PhD

    Boyd Kenkhuis, PhD

    Leiden University Medical Center
    The Netherlands


  • Julie  Schneider, MD, MS

    Julie Schneider, MD, MS

  • Scott  Ayton, PhD

    Scott Ayton, PhD

Project Goals

We know that iron accumulates in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's Disease. This process strongly predicts how fast a patient's cognitive function will decline. However, we do not yet know where in the brain the accumulation starts, and how the accumulation spreads. That makes it difficult to develop measurements that can help to predict the disease course for individual patients. In this project we will develop an atlas of the brain that shows how iron accumulates as Alzheimer's Disease progresses over time. We do that by studying hundreds of brain donors with varying degrees of AD.

Project Summary

Aim 1: Analyse how iron spreads in Alzheimer's Disease patients by a sensitive staining that visualises iron in brain tissue. Based on these stainings, we will build an atlas that depicts iron accumulation in the brain in relation to other hallmarks of Alzheimer's Disease, such as amyloid and tau spreading. Aim 2: Study whether iron accumulation is correlated to cognitive decline and will improve the prediction of disease progression. Lastly, we will study gene expression in patients with different amounts of iron accumulation to determine which pathways are involved.


First published on: May 15, 2024

Last modified on: July 22, 2024