There are many theories to explain the cause of Alzheimer's disease. None is mutually exclusive of the others, and it may be that all are correct. The only problem may be that we do not understand which is the primary cause and which are the secondary effects of the primary abnormality in the disease. It is almost certain that Alzheimer's disease, as we recognize it today, is heterogeneous. One has only to think of the early-onset and late-onset familial cases to realize that this is so. All of the theories have experimental evidence to support them, and all have generated experiments to substantiate them. Some of them have generated potential concepts for treatment, none of which at present have proved to be successful. When in the end the underlying etiology of the condition is discovered, it will be possible to fit all of the experimental observations into place. It appears at present that the most likely breakthroughs in our understanding will come from detailed sequencing of the paired helical filaments and from breakthroughs in the field of molecular genetics studying the gene for familial Alzheimer's disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)