The mystery of Alzheimer's may be hidden in microglia cells

Postdoc Kristian Juul-Madsen from the Department of Biomedicine receives DKK 2 million from the Independent Research Fund Denmark to examine a specific cell type called microglia, as part of the mystery of Alzheimer's may be hidden here.

Kristian Juul-Madsen begins the project with a one-year stay at the Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin. He will then continue the project at the Department of Biomedicine in Aarhus. Photo: Simon Byrial Fischel, AU Health.

The cause of Alzheimer's disease remain unknown. We know that the accumulation of a specific protein is one of the explanations. In recent genetic analyses of Alzheimer's patients, it has been discovered that certain types of genes and cells also play a critical role. Postdoc Kristian Juul-Madsen has received an international mobility grant of DKK 2 million from the Independent Research Fund Denmark to investigate the matter further.

He will use the grant to conduct research into genes and cells that have an influence on whether or not we develop Alzheimer's disease. Recent genetic analyses of patients with Alzheimer's show that genes that are particularly expressed in microglia cells constitute a risk factor. Microglia are the brain's immune cell and help to maintain the normal functioning of the brain. It appears that a set of receptors on microglia cells affects the development of Alzheimer's disease. The receptors are therefore Kristian Juul-Madsen's focal point in the project. For this purpose, he cultivates modified microglia cells harvested from stem cells and inserts these into an artificial brain to illustrate which factors within neuroinflammation are most significant for the development of Alzheimer's disease.


Postdoc & PhD Kristian Juul-Madsen
Aarhus University, Department of Biomedicine
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