NIH-funded scientists have discovered a potential strategy for developing treatments to stem the disease process in Alzheimer’s disease. It’s based on unclogging removal of toxic debris that accumulates in patients’ brains, by blocking activity of a little-known regulator protein called CD33. Too much CD33 activity may promote late-onset Alzheimer’s by preventing support cells from clearing out toxic plaques. Future medications that impede CD33 activity might help prevent or treat the disorder. Dr. Thomas Lehner, director of NIMH’s Office of Genomics Research Coordination, explains the significance of the new findings.