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Amyloid-Related Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease

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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related disorder that causes brain damage resulting in progressive cognitive impairment and death. Three decades of progress have given us a detailed understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms. Over the past 10 years, this knowledge has translated into a range of targets for therapy, the most promising of which is amyloid β (Aβ). An imbalance between the production and clearance of Aβ is thought by many to represent the earliest event in the pathogenesis of AD. Aβ is known to be subject to oligomerisation, a process that increases its synaptotoxicity. The oligomers may aggregate further to proto-fibrils and fibrils, eventually forming senile plaques, the neuropathological hallmark of AD. In this article we review the key aspects of Aβ as a biomarker for AD, including its pathogenicity, the diagnostic performance of different Aβ assays in different settings, and the potential usefulness of Aβ as a surrogate marker for treatment efficacy in clinical trials of novel Aβ-targeting drugs.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; amyloid precursor protein; biomarker; cerebrospinal fluid; plasma; positron emission tomography; β-amyloid

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Memory clinic, M51, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm, SE-141 86, Sweden.

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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