Hyperactive neurons in specific areas of the brain are believed to be an early perturbation in Alzheimer's disease. For the first time, a team around Carl von Linde Senior Alumnus Professor Arthur Konnerth was able to explain the reasons and mechanisms underlying this early and therefore important neuronal dysfunction. They found that the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate persists for too long near active neurons. This causes a pathological overstimulation of those neurons – most likely contributing critically to impaired learning and memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients.
Benedikt Zott, Manuel M. Simon, Wei Hong, Felix Unger, Hsing-Jung Chen-Engerer, Matthew P. Frosch, Bert Sakmann, Dominic M. Walsh, Arthur Konnerth, A vicious cycle of beta-amyloid-dependent neuronal hyperactivation, Science, August 9, 2019; DOI: 10.1126/science.aay0198.