Reconsidering Alzheimer's Disease

In January of 2017, a stimulating scientific paper by Roberta Ricciarelli and Ernesto Fedele titled "The Amyloid Cascade Hypothesis in Alzheimer's Disease: It's Time to Change Our Mind" stated in its abstract:

"Since its discovery in 1984, the beta amyloid peptide has treaded the boards of neurosciences as the star molecule in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. In the last decade, however, this vision has been challenged by evidence-based medicine showing the almost complete failure of clinical trials that experimented anti-amyloid therapies with great hopes. Moreover, data have accumulated which clearly indicate that this small peptide plays a key role in the physiological processes of memory formation. In the present review, we will discuss the different aspects of the amyloid cascade hypothesis, highlighting its pros and cons, and we will analyse the results of the therapeutic approaches attempted to date that should change the direction of Alzheimer's disease research in the future."

In light of the underwhelming efficacy of human anti-Abeta clinical trials in the last several years, we are pleased to read that the scientific community is starting to reconsider the theory that amyloid beta (Abeta) is the primary causative factor in Alzheimer's disease. This paper is among several we've seen over the past year which criticizes the amyloid cascade hypothesis, and does a good job of balancing the supportive and contradictory evidence for the hypothesis.

It is important that researchers and clinicians reconsider their theories in light of new evidence (such as unsuccessful human clinical trials), so that resources can be deployed in the most productive way possible. We suppose it may be psychologically difficult for many researchers to pivot, after having spent dozens of years of combined human effort and billions of dollars of resources operating under this theory. But doing so is a critical component of good, productive science. 

We invite you to read the paper by clicking on the link below!

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