Decreased Clearance of CNS β-Amyloid in Alzheimer’s Disease

Science  09 Dec 2010:

DOI: 10.1126/science.1197623


Alzheimer’s disease is hypothesized to be caused by an imbalance between β-amyloid (Aβ) production and clearance leading to Aβ accumulation in the central nervous system (CNS). Aβ production and clearance are key targets in the development of disease-modifying therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s disease. However, there has not been direct evidence of altered Aβ production or clearance in Alzheimer’s disease. Using metabolic labeling, we measured Aβ42 and Aβ40 production and clearance rates in the CNS of participants with Alzheimer’s disease and cognitively normal controls. Clearance rates for both Aβ42 and Aβ40 were impaired in Alzheimer’s disease compared to controls. On average, there were no differences in Aβ40 or Aβ42 production rates. Thus, the common late-onset form of Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by an overall impairment in Aβ clearance.

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