Via Medical News Today, a great example of the degree to which researchers are unravelling the biochemical mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease (AD): "Oxidative damage has long been suspected as playing an early critical role in AD. Because the events that trigger the beginnings of AD are still unknown, [researchers] began targeting research on the reaction between the [amyloid beta] plaque and immune cells. ... researchers found that the microglia had the appropriate immune response that the plaque was harmful, but then the protein Vav was found to be a component in oxidative damage since elimination of the protein resulted in reduced free radical production. ... by understanding this biological component in the disease process, it holds the potential to 'push back the severity of the disease.'" Other groups have shown that even excessive amyloid can be prevented from causing neurodegeneration - perhaps there's an effective therapy to be made from breaking the chain from amyloid to oxidative stress to neural cell death.