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Secret Signal You May Have Alzheimer's, Says New Study

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia in the U.S, with more than five million people affected. At the same time, it is disproportionately mysterious. Although scientists have become more sure about the causes of Alzheimer's—including a buildup of toxic plaques in the brain called amyloids—much about the disorder is still poorly understood, including how the brain reacts as the disease progresses (and therefore how it might be slowed or stopped).  But a new study has provided some potential insight on that process. Researchers from the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Research Center (NDRC) and MIT/Koch Institute developed a new model of how Alzheimer's progresses. In their research, they found an association between the buildup of those plaques, the degeneration of the brain, and the cells (called glial cells) that are usually protective of the brain.  Specifically, the scientists connected neurodegeneration to two types of glial cell: oligodendrocytes an