A team of scientists at Washington University School of Medicine, digging down to the molecular roots of the Alzheimer’s have come across a good and a bad news. A gene named as TREM2, is found out to be one of the key player, whose mutations can substantially increase the risk of this disease in that person. The bad news is that in the initial stages of Alzheimer’s, the high-risk variants of TREM2 can shamble the ability of the immune system of protecting the brain from amyloid beta, a major protein related with the Alzheimer’s disease.
On the other hand, the good news, as per the scientists at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, is that in the later stage of the disease, when the brain is covered with toxic tangles of tau, another Alzheimer’s protein, the absence of TREM2 will protect the brain from further damage. Mice with the absence of TREM2 suffered lesser brain damage than those, who has it. The results shows that the reduction in TREM2 protein will potentially prevent the damage of the brain and assist in the treatment the of this distressing neurodegenerative disease. It also suggest that doctors and medical professionals may want to stimulate TREM2 in the initial stages of this disease and slow it down later. These results also indicate that the attempts to treat this disease by targeting the functions of TREM2 and the microglial activation may be a pricklier problem than it is being suspected.