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Cool Videos: Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted on by Dr. Francis Collins

NIH logo, surrounded by a filmstrip border

To keep everyone energized during the hot, hazy days of summer, I’ve decided to start a new series called Cool Videos. This virtual mini-film fest will feature a variety of videos—some even produced by researchers themselves—in which biomedical science plays a starring role.

Throughout August, you’ll have a chance to screen some of the winners of a recent video competition celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the NIH Common Fund. These short clips, created by NIH-funded researchers, include a parody of “Breaking Bad,” some underwater camerawork reminiscent of Jacques Cousteau, and even a rap video.

Today’s feature (and my personal favorite) comes from the lab of Howard Weiner at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Set to the “Cups Song” from the movie “Pitch Perfect,” this video puts a human face on Alzheimer’s disease and features a few of the many researchers who are working so hard to find ways of treating and preventing this devastating brain disorder.

For those of you who’d like a few more details before or after watching the video, here’s how the scientists themselves describe their project: “Research in Howard Weiner’s laboratory at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston is supported by a Transformational R01 Grant, focused on the role of the innate immune system in aging and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. We believe Alzheimer’s Disease is caused by an imbalance between production and clearance of amyloid protein, leading to accumulation in the brain causing memory loss. Accumulation of amyloid is related to a defect in the ability of microglia cells in the brain and scavenger cells in the blood to clear amyloid from the brain and prevent brain damage.”

Weiner Lab Cups Song Video ScreenshotWatch this space—coming attractions might include more Common Fund videos, LabTV profiles of young scientists, movies made via microscope, and other video projects that shine a spotlight on cool science supported by NIH.


Weiner Lab, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston

NIH Common Fund Video Competition

NIH support: Common Fund, National Institute on Aging


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