Dr. Eric Swanson, a recent UVA Biology Ph.D. graduate, and Dr. George Bloom, a professor in the Biology department, were featured in UVA Today for their research on “speed bumps” associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The Bloom lab has focused on increasing the scientific knowledge surrounding the illness’ biological foundation for the past ten years. Their most recent research focuses on how some proteins have the ability to change healthy nerve cells into neurons burdened by Alzheimer’s.
“Other labs have previously show how aggregations of the neuronal protein called “tau,” amassing in the slender, threadlike form of filaments, constitute the “neurofibrillary” tangles of brains afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease,” writes author Lorenzo Perez. “The new UVA study revealed, however, that much smaller aggregates of tau outside brain cells, known as “extracellular tau oligomers,” cause the tau inside neurons not only to aggregate, but to spread from its normal location in axons (the wire-like extensions of neurons), into the branched, tree-like parts of a neuron called dendrites.”
To read the full article, click here.
Photo credit: UVA Today