In recent years, a scientific consensus has started to emerge about how Alzheimer’s disease originates and develops in a vicious cycle of Abeta peptide accumulation, nerve cell death and inflammation, followed by even more nerve cell death. Research sponsored by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has provided substantial contributions to this understanding—including the identification of key genes and the functions of those genes. This has allowed the entire research community to focus on more targeted intervention.
This model gives a simplified illustration of the emerging consensus and the three basic strategies for intervention:
- An early-phase intervention, inhibiting the production of the toxic Abeta peptide, and/or clearing it from the brain after it forms.
- A mid-phase intervention that would inhibit the formation of Tau tangles and protect neurons from undue stress.
- A late-phase intervention that would fight inflammation and thus slow down or even stop the disease process.