Neurons that regularly remodel are more prone to Alzheimer’s disease and die when that remodeling goes awry, a new study suggests. The work is the first to track the progression of Alzheimer’s at the genetic and molecular levels within neurons vulnerable to the disease.

“Identifying the molecular characteristics of neurons that are especially vulnerable to neurodegeneration is important both for the basic understanding of Alzheimer’s and for future development of better diagnostic and treatment options,” says study co-author Olga Troyanskaya, deputy director for genomics at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Biology in New York City and a professor at Princeton University.

Using a machine learning framework that integrated neuron type-specific mouse experiments with human studies, the researchers compared two types of neurons susceptible to Alzheimer’s with five resistant types. The…

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