|Their brains had the telltale signs of Alzheimer's. So why did they still have nimble minds?|
|Written by Sharon Begley | STAT|
|Tuesday, 15 November 2016 19:06|
The defective proteins that are widely thought to kill brain neurons and cause, or at least indicate, Alzheimer's disease do not always have that calamitous result, scientists reported on Monday, raising more doubts about conventional approaches to diagnosing and finding treatments for Alzheimer's.
The researchers analyzed the brains of eight people who died in their 90s and who had excellent recall until then. Three of the eight brains had the defining amyloid plaques and tau tangles of Alzheimer's, yet somehow were "immune to [their] effects," said neurologist Changiz Geula, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who led the study and presented the results at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego. "What's significant about these findings is that they show there can be high densities of plaques and tangles in the brains of some elderly individuals who are cognitively normal or even superior."
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