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‘Single-cell profiling’ shows how disease affects brain cell types and identifies potentially targetable pathways

After decades of fundamental scientific and drug discovery research, Alzheimer’s disease has remained inscrutable and incurable, with a bare minimum of therapeutic progress. But in a new review article in Nature Neuroscience, MIT scientists write that by employing the new research capability of “single-cell profiling,” the field has rapidly achieved long-sought insights with strong potential for both explaining Alzheimer’s disease and doing something meaningful about it. By analyzing this new evidence, for instance, the authors show that the disease’s disruptions converge on five main areas of cellular function, or “pathways,” in each of five major brain cell types.

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