Artistic representation of spatial transcriptomic data around amyloid plaques.

Bart de Strooper | Lorena Arancibia : Cellular Phase of Alzheimer’s Disease Laboratory

Alzheimer’s Disease causes hundreds of interconnected changes in the brain many years before the onset of clinical symptoms. We want to understand the mechanisms behind these changes and use this information to identify potential new treatments.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterised by the abnormal build-up of protein in the brain. Most researchers believe that these protein clusters, or the mechanisms that form them, may be important in the progress of the disease.

One of these proteins, Amyloid beta (Aβ) is produced from the breakdown of Amyloid Precursor Protein and historically Alzheimer’s research has focused on this chain reaction as a possible target for new treatments. However, most clinical trials attempting to target this pathway have been unsuccessful.

In our lab, we are looking at the effects of Aβ on the immune and support cells of the brain and how this changes how cells interact with each other. We combine studies of individual brain cells and cell networks with genetic screening to identify mechanisms behind the disease that could lead to the development of new treatments.