CAUSE OF ALZHEIMER’S
ANCHOR LEAD: THE MOST WIDELY ACCEPTED THEORY ON HOW ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE DEVELOPS MAY NOT TELL THE WHOLE STORY, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
A vaccine that does clear plaque from the brain doesn’t help symptoms or reduce deaths from Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study reported in the Lancet concluded. Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at Johns Hopkins, says there’s one obvious interpretation of these disappointing results.
LYKETSOS: It suggests that clearing amyloid from the brain is not the whole story. It may be that amyloid is in fact a consequence of an unknown or poorly known process that leads to symptoms, and so clearly amyloid only had a small effect, or it may mean that by the time that patients have dementia, in other words the patients who received the therapy had a lot of brain tissue loss, that clearing amyloid was being delivered too late to be of help to them. :28
Lyketsos says earlier detection of amyloid plaque formation and use of a clearing vaccine may very well result in benefit. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.