News FocusAlzheimer's Research

Stopping Alzheimer's Before It Starts

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  17 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6096, pp. 790-792
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6096.790

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

This article has a correction. Please see:


Alzheimer's researchers have seen one promising therapy after another fail in late-stage clinical trials, raising doubts about the field's guiding hypothesis: that the accumulation of a protein fragment called β amyloid in the brain is a key step in the disease process that ultimately kills neurons and robs people of their memories and the ability to think clearly. Another interpretation, however, is that anti-amyloid therapies have so far disappointed because patients got them too late. If these same therapies were given before irreversible brain damage occurs, perhaps the disease could be prevented. Three new trials, expected to get under way next year with support from pharmaceutical companies, the National Institutes of Health, and private philanthropies, will be the sternest test yet for the amyloid hypothesis.