In DepthNeuroscience

Alzheimer's amyloid theory gets modest boost

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Science  31 Jul 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6247, pp. 464
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6247.464

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At the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Washington, D.C., last week, researchers expressed cautious optimism that the field is gaining momentum. The primary reason: tantalizing hints from two high-profile, phase II trials of antibodies that latch onto β amyloid, a protein that forms sticky masses in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. To some, the small number of people studied and the modest results were far from persuasive. But to others at the meeting, the findings provide some of the first encouraging evidence that β amyloid is a target for treatment. One next step is to try to stimulate the body's own immune defenses with an antiamyloid vaccine—an approach that failed in the past but is now getting a second look.