Rejuvenating microglia to alleviate Alzheimer’s disease
The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) increases with age. Although we know the general characteristics of the AD brain, the development of effective treatments against the mechanisms leading to AD are still lacking. Our research will focus on investigating ways to improve the efficiency of the brain cell types known as microglia to clear AD-specific pathological signs. Microglia have beneficial roles that decrease with age, when, in turn, become toxic for the surrounding cells. We aim to use animal models that were experimentally induced to mimic AD and identify how microglia shift their roles due to age and AD. For this, we will utilise in mice an extremely sensitive novel technique recently developed by us and validate these results on brain samples from AD and healthy humans. In addition, we will repurpose a drug currently tested in other diseases and that can eliminate aged microglia, allowing us to investigate if the removal of aged cells improves the AD pathology. Taken together, these results will help us understand how AD progresses and to develop a potential novel treatment strategy against the disease.
At the time of award, Liviu-Gabriel was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and is currently located at the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research at the Queensland Brain Institute (University of Queensland).