U.S. News: Scientists propose new mechanism driving Alzheimer's
Recent UC study highlighted
National and international media outlets highlighted recent research from the University of Cincinnati that supports an alternative hypothesis for what causes Alzheimer's disease.
The prevailing narrative in the field has stated Alzheimer's is caused by amyloid plaques in the brain, but Alberto Espay, MD, Andrea Sturchio, MD, and their colleagues hypothesized that plaques are simply a consequence of the levels of soluble amyloid-beta in the brain decreasing. These levels decrease because the normal protein, under situations of biological, metabolic or infectious stress, transform into the abnormal amyloid plaques.
In the current study, the team analyzed the levels of amyloid-beta in a subset of patients with mutations that predict an overexpression of amyloid plaques in the brain, which is thought to make them more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
“What we found was that individuals already accumulating plaques in their brains who are able to generate high levels of soluble amyloid-beta have a lower risk of evolving into dementia over a three-year span,” said Espay, professor of neurology in the UC College of Medicine, director and endowed chair of the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders at the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute and a UC Health physician.
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