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      Hope or hype? Aducanumab as a magic bullet for Alzheimer’s disease

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          The amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease at 25 years

          Abstract Despite continuing debate about the amyloid β‐protein (or Aβ hypothesis, new lines of evidence from laboratories and clinics worldwide support the concept that an imbalance between production and clearance of Aβ42 and related Aβ peptides is a very early, often initiating factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Confirmation that presenilin is the catalytic site of γ‐secretase has provided a linchpin: all dominant mutations causing early‐onset AD occur either in the substrate (amyloid precursor protein, APP) or the protease (presenilin) of the reaction that generates Aβ. Duplication of the wild‐type APP gene in Down's syndrome leads to Aβ deposits in the teens, followed by microgliosis, astrocytosis, and neurofibrillary tangles typical of AD. Apolipoprotein E4, which predisposes to AD in > 40% of cases, has been found to impair Aβ clearance from the brain. Soluble oligomers of Aβ42 isolated from AD patients' brains can decrease synapse number, inhibit long‐term potentiation, and enhance long‐term synaptic depression in rodent hippocampus, and injecting them into healthy rats impairs memory. The human oligomers also induce hyperphosphorylation of tau at AD‐relevant epitopes and cause neuritic dystrophy in cultured neurons. Crossing human APP with human tau transgenic mice enhances tau‐positive neurotoxicity. In humans, new studies show that low cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Aβ42 and amyloid‐PET positivity precede other AD manifestations by many years. Most importantly, recent trials of three different Aβ antibodies (solanezumab, crenezumab, and aducanumab) have suggested a slowing of cognitive decline in post hoc analyses of mild AD subjects. Although many factors contribute to AD pathogenesis, Aβ dyshomeostasis has emerged as the most extensively validated and compelling therapeutic target.
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            Immunization with amyloid-beta attenuates Alzheimer-disease-like pathology in the PDAPP mouse.

            Amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) seems to have a central role in the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Familial forms of the disease have been linked to mutations in the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the presenilin genes. Disease-linked mutations in these genes result in increased production of the 42-amino-acid form of the peptide (Abeta42), which is the predominant form found in the amyloid plaques of Alzheimer's disease. The PDAPP transgenic mouse, which overexpresses mutant human APP (in which the amino acid at position 717 is phenylalanine instead of the normal valine), progressively develops many of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease in an age- and brain-region-dependent manner. In the present study, transgenic animals were immunized with Abeta42, either before the onset of AD-type neuropathologies (at 6 weeks of age) or at an older age (11 months), when amyloid-beta deposition and several of the subsequent neuropathological changes were well established. We report that immunization of the young animals essentially prevented the development of beta-amyloid-plaque formation, neuritic dystrophy and astrogliosis. Treatment of the older animals also markedly reduced the extent and progression of these AD-like neuropathologies. Our results raise the possibility that immunization with amyloid-beta may be effective in preventing and treating Alzheimer's disease.
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              Randomized Trial of Verubecestat for Mild-to-Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease

              BACKGROUND Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the deposition of amyloid-beta (A β ) plaques in the brain. A β is produced from the sequential cleavage of amyloid precursor protein by β -site amyloid precursor protein–cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE-1) followed by y-secretase. Verubecestat is an oral BACE-1 inhibitor that reduces the A β level in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. METHODS We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 78-week trial to evaluate verubecestat at doses of 12 mg and 40 mg per day, as compared with placebo, in patients who had a clinical diagnosis of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The coprimary outcomes were the change from baseline to week 78 in the score on the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog; scores range from 0 to 70, with higher scores indicating worse dementia) and in the score on the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Activities of Daily Living Inventory scale (ADCS-ADL; scores range from 0 to 78, with lower scores indicating worse function). RESULTS A total of 1958 patients underwent randomization; 653 were randomly assigned to receive verubecestat at a dose of 12 mg per day (the 12-mg group), 652 to receive verubecestat at a dose of 40 mg per day (the 40-mg group), and 653 to receive matching placebo. The trial was terminated early for futility 50 months after onset, which was within 5 months before its scheduled completion, and after enrollment of the planned 1958 patients was complete. The estimated mean change from baseline to week 78 in the ADAS-cog score was 7.9 in the 12-mg group, 8.0 in the 40-mg group, and 7.7 in the placebo group (P=0.63 for the comparison between the 12-mg group and the placebo group and P=0.46 for the comparison between the 40-mg group and the placebo group). The estimated mean change from baseline to week 78 in the ADCS-ADL score was −8.4 in the 12-mg group, −8.2 in the 40-mg group, and −8.9 in the placebo group (P=0.49 for the comparison between the 12-mg group and the placebo group and P=0.32 for the comparison between the 40-mg group and the placebo group). Adverse events, including rash, falls and injuries, sleep disturbance, suicidal ideation, weight loss, and hair-color change, were more common in the verubecestat groups than in the placebo group. CONCLUSIONS Verubecestat did not reduce cognitive or functional decline in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease and was associated with treatment-related adverse events.(ClinicalTrials.gov [Related object:] .)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BIOI
                BIO Integration
                BIOI
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                2712-0082
                2712-0074
                June 2022
                18 February 2022
                : 3
                : 2
                : 84-88
                Affiliations
                [1] 1Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Epigenetics and Gene Regulation, Guangdong-Hong Kong Joint Laboratory for RNA Medicine, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
                [2] 2Medical Research Center, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
                [3] 3Guangdong Province Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
                [4] 4Nash Family Department of Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, USA
                [5] 5Friedman Brain Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, USA
                Author notes
                *Correspondence to: Wei-Jye Lin, E-mail: linwj26@ 123456mail.sysu.edu.cn and Stephen R. Salton, E-mail: stephen.salton@ 123456mssm.edu
                Article
                bioi20210034
                10.15212/bioi-2021-0034
                24a19641-e986-4040-9efb-a01fac361159
                Copyright © 2022 The Authors

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). See https://bio-integration.org/copyright-and-permissions/

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                Medicine,Molecular medicine,Radiology & Imaging,Biotechnology,Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine,Microscopy & Imaging

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