Tuesday, 11 October 2022 14:21

New study: Decreased proteins, not amyloid plaques, are thought to cause Alzheimer's Featured

A team of American-Swedish researchers is convinced that dementia is not caused by increasing deposits of amyloid plaques in the brain but, on the contrary, as a result of a decrease in the amount of soluble amyloid-beta in the brain.

Researchers led by Alberto Espay, M.D., professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and director at the Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute, and Andrea Sturchio, M.D., adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, have previously observed that although many people develop plaques in their brains as they age, few of these people develop dementia. Individuals with high levels of soluble amyloid-beta may be cognitively normal regardless of the accumulation of plaques in the brain, while those with low levels of the soluble protein have been shown to have more cognitive impairment.

Many efforts and therapies to date have focused on reducing amyloid plaques in the brain, but so far none has slowed really the progression of Alzheimer's disease to any appreciable degree. The researchers now plan to investigate whether increasing soluble amyloid-beta levels in the brain is a beneficial therapy for patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Original publications:
1. Sturchio A, Dwivedi AK, Malm T, Wood MJA, Cilia R, Sharma JS, Hill EJ, Schneider LS, Graff-Radford NR, Mori H, Nübling G, El Andaloussi S, Svenningsson P, Ezzat K, Espay AJ; Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Consortia (DIAN). High Soluble Amyloid-β42 Predicts Normal Cognition in Amyloid-Positive Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease-Causing Mutations. J Alzheimers Dis. 2022 Sep 16. doi: 10.3233/JAD-220808. epub ahead of print. PMID: 36120786.

2 Espay AJ, Sturchio A, Schneider LS, Ezzat K. Soluble amyloid-β consumption in Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2021;82(4):1403-1415. doi: 10.3233/JAD-210415. PMID: 34151810.