FABIA FILIPELLO AND DENNIS OAKLEY
A team led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified a pair of genes that influence risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The genes — known as MS4A4A and TREM2 — affect the brain’s immune cells. They influence Alzheimer’s risk by altering levels of TREM2, a protein (shown stained in red) that is believed to help microglia cells clear excessive amounts of the Alzheimer’s proteins amyloid and tau from the brain. The MS4A4A protein is shown stained in green.