Darren Baker and colleagues demonstrate a causal link between the accumulation of senescent cells and cognition-associated neuronal loss. In a mouse model of tau-dependent neurodegenerative disease, senescent astrocytes and microglia accumulate. Clearance of these cells as they arise prevents gliosis, neurofibrillary tangle deposition and the degeneration of cortical and hippocampal neurons, and preserves cognitive function. Targeting senescent cells may provide a new avenue for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
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