Tau and APOE (IMAGE) Washington University School of Medicine Caption Red and orange areas on these heat maps of human brains show where the gene APOE is most active (top two brain images) and where tangles of the protein tau are most concentrated (bottom two brain images). APOE is the biggest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s, and tau tangles drive brain damage in the disease. The similarities in the two sets of maps suggested to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis that APOE plays a role in making certain brain areas particularly vulnerable to Alzheimer’s damage. Credit Diana Hobbs/Washington University Usage Restrictions This image is to be used in accordance with the mission, policies and guidelines of Washington University in St. Louis. Visit https://wustl.edu/about/compliance-policies/media-policies/multimedia-use/ for more information. License Original content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.