Alzheimer's DiseaseNeurobiology, pathology and treatment
Institute of Neurology, University College London, UK
Alzheimer's disease is the main cause of dementia in the developed world and afflicts approximately 5% of those over 65 years. It is among the top 5 causes of mortality and with the aging of the baby boom generation the numbers of cases are expected to rise.... read more
The disease is characterized by extracellular plaques made of Ab derived from the APP protein and intracellular tangles made of the tau protein. There is extensive cell degeneration and death. The causes of most cases of disease are not known, but mutations in APP and its metabolizing enzymes, the presenilins 1 and 2, cause those cases with autosomal dominant early onset disease. Mutations in these genes have been used to make partial mouse models of the disease and these findings have formed the basis of the amyloid cascade hypothesis of the disease.
Current progress in the understanding of the disease and the use of the models based on the amyloid hypothesis are reviewed as is progress towards developing effective treatment for the disease.
The series emphasizes both the progress in our understanding of the disease and the challenges in putting our increased knowledge into effective therapeutic practice.