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'Perched on a Ledge'

Study Shows the Reason for Aging Brain's Vulnerability

By Anette Breindl
Science Editor

Friday, August 16, 2013

Alzheimer's disease is characterized – among other things – by a dramatic upregulation of the complement cascade, as well as by massive loss of neural connection points or synapses. The traditional way to relate those two findings is that the synaptic loss, and the attendant debris as synapses die, causes inflammation that activates the complement cascade. But Ben Barres said that explanation is probably backward.

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