Proposing Alzheimer's as a Mitochondrial Disease

This is an interesting viewpoint on the underlying causes of Alzheimer's disease, but one with little to no support in the research community at the present time. They are not the only group to think that removing beta amyloid will do little to address Alzheimer's symptoms, however, and there has been a shift in recent years to begin to focus on amyloid precursor protein instead:

Ten years ago we first proposed the Alzheimer's disease (AD) mitochondrial cascade hypothesis. This hypothesis maintains that gene inheritance defines an individual's baseline mitochondrial function; inherited and environmental factors determine rates at which mitochondrial function changes over time; and baseline mitochondrial function and mitochondrial change rates influence AD chronology. Our hypothesis unequivocally states in sporadic, late-onset AD, mitochondrial function affects amyloid precursor protein (APP) expression, APP processing, or beta amyloid (Aβ) accumulation and argues if an amyloid cascade truly exists, mitochondrial function triggers it.

We now review the state of the mitochondrial cascade hypothesis, and discuss it in the context of recent AD biomarker studies, diagnostic criteria, and clinical trials. Our hypothesis predicts that biomarker changes reflect brain aging, new AD definitions clinically stage brain aging, and removing brain Aβ at any point will marginally impact cognitive trajectories. Our hypothesis, therefore, offers unique perspective into what sporadic, late-onset AD is and how to best treat it.



Of what/whom are you thinking when you say that " there has been a shift in recent years to begin to focus on amyloid precursor protein instead"?

Posted by: Michael at December 14th, 2013 6:12 AM

@Michael: no-one in particular. I see more APP-related papers nowadays than in the past. I probably should have said "as well" instead of "instead."

Posted by: Reason at December 14th, 2013 8:57 AM

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