THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alzheimer's disease brain cell. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a neurofibrillary tangle in a nerve cell from the brain of a patient with Alzheimer's disease. The tangle (dark blue) lies in the cytoplasm (green) of the cell body, adjacent to the nucleus (turquoise). It consists of abnormal aggregates of the protein tau, which in the healthy cell stabilises microtubules in the cytoplasm. It is not known precisely how the tangles are formed, nor their impact on the neuron's function, but they are seen in a range of neural disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (CJD), some forms of Parkinson's disease, and Supranuclear Palsy.
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