A new theory for the causation of Alzheimer’s is being promoted. An article in Nature and expanded in a review in the same journal suggests that the underlying cause of the condition is not a β-amyloid but a close relative. That an amyloid related mechanism in the brain is responsible. This prunes neuronal connections in the early part of life and may then be reactivated in old age to cause neuronal withering.
Certainly insoluble clumps of β-amyloid peptide develop in the brains of individuals with Alzheimers but also amyloid precursor proteins. This binds onto neuronal receptors setting in train the degenerative process.
Schnabel 2009 Alzheimer’s theory makes a splash Nature vol 459 p 310
- Martin Eastwood