There is a study that shows brain structures can make some people resilient to Alzheimer’s disease. It turns out that the size as well as the shape and the number of dendritic spines in the brain can play a major role in someone getting Alzheimer’s disease. The University of Alabama has brought forth this new research. There were findings that were published on October 24th in the Annals of Neurology that showed for the first time that healthy dendritic spines created a protective effect in people that had proteins associated with Alzheimer’s. One of the obvious culprits in Alzheimer’s disease is the loss of dendritic spines and the loss of synapses. This would hurt the ability to think. The assumption can then be made that those without dementia had healthy spines and those without dementia did not. No one had gone to find out if that was true or not though. There was a lot of research done in this area. A study was done and they realized that their control group had more dendritic spines than the group that had Alzheimer’s. This matched very well with existing historical data that was available. There is still a lot to learn in this area.

Key Points:

  • 1Precursors of Alzheimer’s disease include the development of amyloid and tau proteins in the brain.
  • 2People with longer spines are more resistant to developing Alzheimer’s as neurons are more able to navigate around amyloid and tau proteins to create connections.
  • 3This finding may lead to drugs to better support and uplift spinal health in order to prevent the loss of neurons.

We first noted that the control group had more dendritic spines than the group with Alzheimer’s, which matched beautifully with existing historical data, Herskowitz said.


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