Using human data, scientists at University of Cambridge, UK, have found that Alzheimer’s progresses in a different way than previously suggested by mice studies.
The team used post-mortem brain samples from Alzheimer’s patients, as well as scans from living patients, to track tau - one of two key proteins in the disease.
The findings, published in the journal Science Advances, showed that instead of starting from a single point and initiating reactions leading to the death of brain cells, Alzheimer’s reaches different regions of the brain at an early stage.
Previously, researchers had relied largely on animal models to study the disease, however results from mice instead suggested that Alzheimer’s spreads quickly.
EARA executive director, Kirk Leech said: “It's good science to look for the best model to answer a specific question and when the right human data is available it is likely to provide more insights than using animals.”