September 4, 2018 – Alzheimer’s Cause
Anchor lead: Amyloid and Alzheimer’s disease isn’t always important, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Aggressively removing amyloid from the brains of people who had Alzheimer’s disease only slightly slowed their rate of cognitive decline, a recent study found. Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s expert at Johns Hopkins, says it’s clear that the clinical entity called ‘Alzheimer’s disease’ may be result of several different processes.
Lyketsos: So at one extreme we have people who are genetically endowed to make too much of this amyloid protein, and these people, as long as they live long enough, will get Alzheimer’s symptoms and they will die from the disease. But we also know that a lot of people who first get dementia at age 80 or 85 there’s probably little relationship with amyloid because by age 80, 85, 90, the brain is full of amyloid anyway for most people so the addition of dementia couldn’t be entirely the result of amyloid. :30
Lyketsos says that a personalized approach is indicated. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.