“Speedometer cells” misfire in Alzheimer’s.

In Aging, Alzheimer's, Brain General Structure and Function, Brain Science by Brainy Days Ahead

“The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include spatial memory impairments that might, for example cause an affected person not to be able to find the way home. An area called the “entorhinal cortex” is considered to be the brain’s navigation center. In previous mouse studies, specific cells in the medial septum fire at higher rates when the mouse moves faster. These cells function as ‘speedometer cells’. In this study, researchers have been able to show that the rate at which the speedometer cells fire influences neuronal activity in the entorhinal cortex. The study concludes that problems navigating for Alzheimer’s patients occur at least in part because the information about the ongoing speed of movement is withheld and does not reach the brain’s navigation center.