New Finding Could Mark Shift in Alzheimer's Research – US News and World Report

'Floating' clumps of protein, not plaques, may cause the disease, researchers say

New research could change the way scientists view the causes – and potential prevention and treatment – of Alzheimer's Disease

A study published online this month in the Annals of Neurology suggests that "floating" clumps of amyloid beta (abeta) proteins called oligomers could be a prime cause of the disorder, and that the better-known and more stationary amyloid-beta plaques are only a late manifestation of the disease.

"Based on these and other studies, I think that one could now fairly revise the 'amyloid hypothesis' to the 'abeta oligomer hypothesis,'" said lead researcher Dr. Sam Gandy, a professor of neurology and psychiatry and associate director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

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