Contribution of microglia activation and neuronal oxidative stress to Alzheimer’s disease

Dr. Brian MacVicar & Dr. Haakon Nygaard
University of British Columbia

Recent studies have indicated that microglia, our protective immune cell in the brain, might be important in causing the loss of nerve cells in Alzheimer disease. To further understand these processes, we will study how microglia cause oxidative stress, a phenomenon that causes an over production of reactive oxygen radicals. We recently found that oxidised nerve cells around amyloid plaques are surrounded by microglia. This finding raises the following questions which we want to answer using state-of-the-art models of Alzheimer disease: Do microglia generate the oxygen radicals? How do these oxygen radicals damage nerve cells, and can it be prevented?

Imagine a world without Alzheimer disease.