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In neurodegenerative diseases, brain immune cells have a ‘ravenous appetite’ for sugar

At the beginning of neurodegenerative disease, the immune cells of the brain—the “microglia”—take up glucose, a sugar molecule, to a much greater extent than hitherto assumed. Studies by the DZNE, the LMU München and the LMU Klinikum München, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, come to this conclusion. These results are of great significance for the interpretation of brain scans depicting the distribution of glucose in the brain. Furthermore, such image-based data could potentially serve as a biomarker to non-invasively capture the response of microglia to therapeutic interventions in people with dementia.