general skepticism about the main theory

The image of a brain scan (photo illustration).

DFor decades, scientists around the world have been struggling to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But it could be that they have been on the wrong track all this time. Indeed, the main hypothesis on the functioning of the disease is increasingly called into question, which could upset the path to follow towards a drug. Qualified as the “amyloid cascade”, this hypothesis has served as the basis for most research against the disease for the past twenty years, with almost non-existent success for the time being. Indeed, Alzheimer’s disease may be the best known and most frequent dementia, but its causes and precise mechanisms are largely unknown.

Among the certainties, we know that patients systematically present plaques of proteins, called amyloid, which form around their neurons and eventually destroy them. But is it a primary cause or the consequence of other phenomena? The “cascade” hypothesis makes the first bet: all disease stems from the formation of these plaques. However, thirty years after its formulation by the British biologist John Hardy, this theory has less and less consensus among scientists.

Latest work to question the primary role of amyloid plaques, a study published Thursday in the journal Nature Neuroscience suggests that the disease process begins inside neurons […] Read more

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