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Loss of TDP-43 Points to Microglia as a Cause of Lost Synapses in Alzheimer's Disease

The protein TDP-43 acts as a regulator of autophagy, among other things: more of it means less autophagy. The presence of increased amounts of TDP-43 has been investigated in the context of ALS and frontotemporal dementia, where it appears to cause more dysfunction than would be expected just from a loss of the cellular maintenance processes of autophagy. In this recent research, the focus is instead on Alzheimer's disease, where researchers discovered that reducing TDP-43 levels makes the immune cells called microglia more efficiently clear out the ?-amyloid associated with this condition.
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