When a neuron gets blocked, the delicate harmony that allows the brain to operate seamlessly deteriorates. One result: diseases like Alzheimer’s. Understanding such blockages and how “traffic” should flow normally in healthy brain cells could offer hope to people with neurodegenerative diseases.

Toward that end, a research team led by University at Buffalo biologist Shermali Gunawardena, PhD, has shown that the protein presenilin plays an important role in controlling neuronal traffic on microtubule highways, a novel function that previously was unknown.