Nearly a million people in the UK today are living with dementia. Currently there is no treatment that will prevent, cure or slow down its progression. To overcome this scientists are now studying not only nerve cells in the brain, but the so-called glial cells - previously thought to be just the 'glue' that sticks other brain cells together. Evidence suggests that these cells could provide insight and even early warning about the onset of disease, years before clinical symptoms develop.
The human brain is the most complex computer we have, yet we are still discovering the basics of how it works. In this lecture Dr Mark Dallas outlined some of the challenges in finding treatments for brain diseases, and explored the potential of glial cells in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.
Dr Mark Dallas is a Lecturer in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience at the School of Pharmacy, University of Reading. He is the Academic Co-Ordinator for the Alzheimer's Research UK Oxford Network, Neuroscience Theme Lead for the Physiological Society and sits on the editorial board of Physiology News.