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The Role ofß-Amyloid in Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Neurodegeneration

Goldsworthy, M.R. and Vallence, A.M. (2013) The Role ofß-Amyloid in Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Neurodegeneration. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33 (32). pp. 12910-12911.

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It is currently estimated that over 35 million people worldwide have dementia, and with demographic trends of an aging global population this figure is expected to triple by 2050 (Prince and Jackson, 2009). As the leading cause of dementia, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the source of much emotional and financial strain. Although there has been considerable research aimed at developing disease-modifying therapies that target different features of AD pathology, debate continues over which pathological features are central to disease progression.

A key pathological feature of AD is the formation of neuritic plaques composed of extracellular deposits of β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides. The temporal profile of pathological features together with genetic risk factors for AD have led to the hypothesis that accumulation of Aβ oligomers during early, preclinical stages of the disease initiates a cascade of events resulting in synaptic dysfunction, neural loss and atrophy within temporoparietal and hippocampal regions, and this neurodegeneration, in turn, causes cognitive decline (Jack et al., 2010). If this hypothesis is correct, biomarkers designed to detect Aβ accumulation in preclinical populations may have an important role in the early diagnosis of AD (Sperling et al., 2011).

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: The Society for Neuroscience
Copyright: The Authors
Notes: Review of Wirth, M., Madison, C. M., Rabinovici, G. D., Oh, H., Landau, S. M., & Jagust, W. J. (2013). Alzheimer's disease neurodegenerative biomarkers are associated with decreased cognitive function but not beta-amyloid in cognitively normal older individuals. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(13), 5553-5563. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4409-12.2013
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