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Emerging Microglia Biology Defines Novel Therapeutic Approaches for Alzheimer's Disease.

Neuron. 2020 Oct 14:S0896-6273(20)30753-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.09.029. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33096024.

Authors/Editors: Lewcock JW, Schlepckow K, Di Paolo G, Tahirovic S, Monroe KM, Haass C.
Publication Date: 2020

Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is currently untreatable, and therapeutic strategies aimed to slow cognitive decline have not yet been successful. Many of these approaches have targeted the amyloid cascade, indicating that novel treatment strategies are required. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified a number of risk factors in genes expressed in microglia, underscoring their therapeutic potential in neurodegeneration. In this review, we discuss how the recently defined functions of these AD risk genes can be targeted therapeutically to modulate microglial cell state and slow the progression of AD. Antibody-mediated stimulation of the triggering receptor of myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) is on the forefront of these candidate therapeutic approaches based on a combination of compelling human genetics and emerging preclinical data. This and other approaches to modify microglial function are a topic of intensive study and provide an opportunity for innovative AD treatments, which may be applied alone or potentially in combination with classical anti-amyloid therapies.

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