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Exciting developments in microglia research in Alzheimer’s disease

Genetic studies have shown that the vast majority of risk genes for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) are highly, or even preferentially, expressed in microglia. Accumulating evidence is demonstrating the importance of microglia in AD development and progression, with experimental models demonstrating both protective and destructive capabilities. It has been suggested that the role of microglia in AD changes depending on the stage of the disease, with protective functions predominating in early-stage AD but more detrimental functions taking over in the later stages.

Intensive research is being conducted to understand more about microglia and their phenotypic transitions over time and in response to their environment. This not only has implications for therapeutic targeting of microglia subsets in disease, but also for conducting research and the need to closely consider the environment when interpreting data from microglia models.

In this episode, VJDementia are joined by Amy Lloyd, PhD, University of Dundee, Dundee; Soyon Hong, PhD, University College London, London, UK; João Pedro Ferrari-Souza, MD-PhD candidate, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; and Elina Svensson, PhD candidate, University College London, London, UK, who are sharing their work looking at the complex and disparate roles of microglia in health and disease, and the implications of this for understanding how to treat AD.

Date: 14th April 2023