April 25, 2016 – Amyloid Depletion


Anchor lead: Will removing the substance known as amyloid slow down Alzheimer’s disease? Elizabeth Tracey reports

The amyloid hypothesis holds that accumulation of amyloid, mostly protein, in the brain, is important in causing Alzheimer’s disease, yet studies so far using a drug to remove it have proven disappointing.  Current studies are focused on treating people earlier and using more drug.  Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Lyketsos: My view is that ultimately it’s going to come down to the recognition that Alzheimer’s is not a single disease. So for some people amyloid is going to be more important than for others, there are people who get amyloid in their brain because they inherit a tendency to overproduce, and for those people I wouldn’t be surprised if these amyloid busting drugs will make a difference,.  In that case I think it is true that they will make the most difference if given at a time when there aren’t symptoms.  :30

Lyketsos says what is known is that amyloid alone is not the entire story, so stay tuned as research identifies additional factors.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.