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      Alzheimer's disease

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          Abstract

          Alzheimer's disease is a chronic illness with long preclinical and prodromal phases (20 years) and an average clinical duration of 8-10 years. The disease has an estimated prevalence of 10-30% in the population >65 years of age with an incidence of 1-3%. Most patients with Alzheimer's disease (>95%) have the sporadic form, which is characterized by a late onset (80-90 years of age), and is the consequence of the failure to clear the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide from the interstices of the brain. A large number of genetic risk factors for sporadic disease have been identified. A small proportion of patients (<1%) have inherited mutations in genes that affect processing of Aβ and develop the disease at a much younger age (mean age of ∼45 years). Detection of the accumulation of Aβ is now possible in preclinical and prodromal phases using cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers and PET. Several approved drugs ameliorate some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, but no current interventions can modify the underlying disease mechanisms. Management is focused on the support of the social networks surrounding the patient and the treatment of any co-morbid illnesses, such as cerebrovascular disease.

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          Vitamin E and donepezil for the treatment of mild cognitive impairment.

          Mild cognitive impairment is a transitional state between the cognitive changes of normal aging and early Alzheimer's disease. In a double-blind study, we evaluated subjects with the amnestic subtype of mild cognitive impairment. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive 2000 IU of vitamin E daily, 10 mg of donepezil daily, or placebo for three years. The primary outcome was clinically possible or probable Alzheimer's disease; secondary outcomes were cognition and function. A total of 769 subjects were enrolled, and possible or probable Alzheimer's disease developed in 212. The overall rate of progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease was 16 percent per year. As compared with the placebo group, there were no significant differences in the probability of progression to Alzheimer's disease in the vitamin E group (hazard ratio, 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.74 to 1.41; P=0.91) or the donepezil group (hazard ratio, 0.80; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.57 to 1.13; P=0.42) during the three years of treatment. Prespecified analyses of the treatment effects at 6-month intervals showed that as compared with the placebo group, the donepezil group had a reduced likelihood of progression to Alzheimer's disease during the first 12 months of the study (P=0.04), a finding supported by the secondary outcome measures. Among carriers of one or more apolipoprotein E epsilon4 alleles, the benefit of donepezil was evident throughout the three-year follow-up. There were no significant differences in the rate of progression to Alzheimer's disease between the vitamin E and placebo groups at any point, either among all patients or among apolipoprotein E epsilon4 carriers. Vitamin E had no benefit in patients with mild cognitive impairment. Although donepezil therapy was associated with a lower rate of progression to Alzheimer's disease during the first 12 months of treatment, the rate of progression to Alzheimer's disease after three years was not lower among patients treated with donepezil than among those given placebo. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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            Imaging beta-amyloid burden in aging and dementia.

            To compare brain beta-amyloid (Abeta) burden measured with [(11)C]Pittsburgh Compound B (PIB) PET in normal aging, Alzheimer disease (AD), and other dementias. Thirty-three subjects with dementia (17 AD, 10 dementia with Lewy bodies [DLB], 6 frontotemporal dementia [FTD]), 9 subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 27 age-matched healthy control subjects (HCs) were studied. Abeta burden was quantified using PIB distribution volume ratio. Cortical PIB binding was markedly elevated in every AD subject regardless of disease severity, generally lower and more variable in DLB, and absent in FTD, whereas subjects with MCI presented either an "AD-like" (60%) or normal pattern. Binding was greatest in the precuneus/posterior cingulate, frontal cortex, and caudate nuclei, followed by lateral temporal and parietal cortex. Six HCs (22%) showed cortical uptake despite normal neuropsychological scores. PIB binding did not correlate with dementia severity in AD or DLB but was higher in subjects with an APOE-epsilon4 allele. In DLB, binding correlated inversely with the interval from onset of cognitive impairment to diagnosis. Pittsburgh Compound B PET findings match histopathologic reports of beta-amyloid (Abeta) distribution in aging and dementia. Noninvasive longitudinal studies to better understand the role of amyloid deposition in the course of neurodegeneration and to determine if Abeta deposition in nondemented subjects is preclinical AD are now feasible. Our findings also suggest that Abeta may influence the development of dementia with Lewy bodies, and therefore strategies to reduce Abeta may benefit this condition.
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              Apolipoprotein E immunoreactivity in cerebral amyloid deposits and neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer's disease and kuru plaque amyloid in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

              During the course of our immunohistochemical studies on the change of lipids in Alzheimer's disease brains by using antibody to apolipoprotein E, a protein having a special relevance to nervous tissue, we unexpectedly found that apo E immunoreactivity was associated with amyloid in both senile plaques and cerebral vessels and neurofibrillary tangles. The immunoreactivity was also found in amyloid of kuru plaques in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Pretreatment of the sections with formic acid greatly enhanced immunoreactivity of senile and kuru plaques to antibody to apo E.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Disease Primers
                Nat Rev Dis Primers
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                2056-676X
                December 2015
                October 15 2015
                December 2015
                : 1
                : 1
                Article
                10.1038/nrdp.2015.56
                27188934
                c0770cb0-be7e-4e04-905f-6c8c399cda33
                © 2015

                http://www.springer.com/tdm


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