Episode 36: Stress and Alzheimer’s Disease

This week Zach and Kelly discuss how the way one responds to stressors can have long-lasting implications for health, and recent research on a link between a rare gene variant and Alzheimer’s disease.

Zach and Kelly news

Webcomics Rampage in Austin, TX

Round 3 of the #SciFund Challenge has begun! 


Increased reactivity to stress increases the risk of chronic health issues

Paper: Affective reactivity to daily stressors and long-term risk of reporting a chronic physical health condition

Alzheimer’s and TREM2 variants

Paper 1: Variant of TREM2 associated with risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Paper 2: TREM2 variants in Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease

Episode 17: Dr. R. Douglas Fields and “The Other Brain” (an episode on glia)

2 thoughts on “Episode 36: Stress and Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. Konrad


    This Schenk et al. (1999) paper above is interesting, because they were able to immunize ‘Alzheimer mice’ with amyloid-β (idea being that their microglia would then attack the Aβ-aggregates), which resulted in younger mice developing no such deposits in the first place, while existing deposits in older mice were reduced. Aspects like memory improved too.

    But of course that’s over a decade ago, and the catch, although I can’t come up with sources right now (I remember this from a lecture), was that human testing resulted in around 5% of the subjects developing a bad case of encephalitis about half a year or so after the injection, which of course meant that they had to abort the trials for this promising method.

    So the hope was that they could instead maybe isolate relevant segments of the Aβ-molecule, as opposed to immunizing with the entire peptide. No idea about the progress there though.

    That’s just the method that came to mind during your discussion. Hope I didn’t mess up any facts, or share something that has lost relevance in the current scene.

  2. ibbica

    Interesting discussion, and I’d love to add more, but in listening to the later half of this ep I kept getting distracted by your pronunciation of the word “microglia”, which is pronounced like ‘micro-glia’ (MY-cro-GLEE-ah) not ‘microg-lia’ (my-CROG-lee-ah) 😉 (yeah, I’m *that* person…)


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