Cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimer�€™s disease
Professor Donna Wilcock dscusses the cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease, which focuses on cholinergic neurons. The hypothesis has not been supported.
The cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimer�€™s disease stems from some early studies that showed, early in the Alzheimer�€™s disease process, the cholinergic neurons that project from the lower brain areas up to the higher brain areas that are involved in memory, that these are selectively lost early in Alzheimer�€™s disease. This finding guided us to look for ways to increase acetylcholine or protect these neurons in some way, and obviously that led to the development of Aricept. Aricept is what we call an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. All this really does is it prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine so that the acetylcholine stays around for longer, so that it can have its beneficial effects. But, just because those neurons are lost early in disease, I don�€™t necessarily think that that means that acetylcholine loss is the cause of Alzheimer�€™s disease. It just means that these neurons are more susceptible to the pathologies that happen earlier on.
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Professor Donna Wilcock explains that Aricept can only provide short-term benefit in treating Alzheimer's disease.
An overview of Alzheimer's disease-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
Professor Donna Wilcock discusses early-onset Alzheimer's disease, which can reach an advanced stage by the age of 50 or 60 years.
Professor Donna Wilcock describes amyloid plaques as clumps of protein in the brain that are one of the three hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.
Professor Donna Wilcock discusses late-onset Alzheimer's disease, which involves the clearance and/or production of the amyloid beta protein.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes a gradual and irreversible loss of higher brain functions, including memory, language skills, and perception of time and space,
Professor Donna Wilcock describes how neurofibrillary tangles choke neurons, causing them to die. This is one of three hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.
Professor Kenneth Kosik discusses the biochemistry of Alzheimer's disease in relation to acetylcholine and cholinergic deficiency.
Professor Donna Wilcock discusses the process of going from a mouse model to human trials for testing the amyloid beta immunization for Alzheimer's disease.
Professor Donna Wilcock discusses Alzheimer's disease in the light of increasing prevalence as the population ages.