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The Case for the Amyloid Hypothesis

The amyloid hypothesis has inspired most of Alzheimer’s research for the last 20 years. It proposes that accumulation of a protein fragment known as beta-amyloid, and in particular the 42 amino acid subtype, is the underlying cause of the Alzheimer’s pathogenesis. It is a “sticky” compound that builds up within the brain 10-15 years before […]

Why has Biogen’s aducanumab become so controversial?

The FDA’s approval of aducanumab has been shrouded by controversy, with experts quickly criticizing the FDA’s ruling, referencing two large studies showing little convincing evidence of efficacy. These feelings were mirrored by the FDA’s own advisory committee. Of the 11 members, 10 voted against the drug’s approval, citing insufficient evidence, and one member was undecided. […]

Donanemab: A Promising Anti-Amyloid Therapy

     Due to inconsistent effects of anti-amyloid therapies, such as aducanamab, a recent shift from the “amyloid hypothesis” to the “tau hypothesis”, has occurred. The primary issue with most anti-amyloid therapies, is that the successful removal of amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques doesn’t significantly reduce the clinical symptoms, suggesting that significant damage to the underlying brain […]

The Curious Case of Alzheimer’s-Related Primary Progressive Aphasia

This week we review a disease called Alzheimer-related primary progressive aphasia (PPA-AD). It is well known that a primary symptom of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is memory impairment, while the primary symptom of primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is an isolated language disturbance. Two thirds of PPA cases are caused by a tauopathy called Frontotempral degeneration (FTD) […]

How PWAS Helped Discover 10 New Alzheimer’s Genes

For quite a while, one of the most common methods of isolating disease-risk-associated genes has been a Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) which involves genotyping a large number of people and associating various genetic loci, or locations, with the phenotypes, or visible traits, that commonly arise from variance at these loci. However, researchers recently developed […]

Further Breakthroughs in AD Testing

       A couple months ago we posted a blog about a blood test for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that changed the game of diagnosing AD. Unsurprisingly, the scientific community immediately began researching and attempting to improve the test and already they have made significant progress! This week we will break down what we have […]

Aducanumab: Third Time’s the Charm?

        This week we review the current status of a previously tested investigational treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) reflecting the clinical trial approval process. In March of 2019 two phase III clinical trials of Biogen’s Aducanumab, a monoclonal amyloid-clearing antibody, terminated due to lack of efficacy after an interim futility analysis. As […]

Iron and Amyloid: Correlations to Entorhinal Cortex Degeneration

Research into the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) frequently starts small, with the discovery of risk factors that correlate with elevated deposition of AD biomarkers: amyloid (Aꞵ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). Recently, researchers observed one such phenomenon involving the build-up of iron in the brain and the localization of Aꞵ. Firstly, it […]