Our partners at Michigan State University, Drs. Marcia Gordon, Dave Morgan, and Scott Counts were awarded a nearly $3 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to study the tie between aging and Alzheimer’s disease through an innovative approach: senescent cells.
“Some people call them zombie cells,” Dr. Gordon told MSU Today in January 2019. “These cells stop performing their normal functions (cell division) and begin to send out signals that likely trigger adverse changes in the brain, including the clumping of the beta-amyloid protein and tangles of another called tau.”
The team’s goal over this five-year project is to delay the biological aging of the brain and deplete the number of senescent cells. The team will analyze brain tissue and laser capture microscopy to look for biomarkers that identify these senescent cells.
Although this is a new area of research for the field, Dr. Morgan shares, “We’ve got to think outside the box if we’re going to do something about Alzheimer’s.”