Do We All Have Alzheimer's Completely Wrong? This Man Says Yes
Throughout his career, Duke University neurology professor Allen Roses has challenged what for decades has been the prevailing orthodoxy in Alzheimer's research: Namely, the "amyloid hypothesis," which suggests that a protein called beta-amyloid clogs up the brain, killing neurons and causing the dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease. The ApoE4 variation "is without question, now and probably forever, the most potent and important genetic factor in late-onset Alzheimer's disease," according to Samuel Gandy, associate director of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center in New York City. But Gandy, known in the field as an amyloid expert, also points out that among ApoE4's important effects is that it appears to promote beta-amyloid buildup. "My guess is that Allen would say [this is] ‘true but unimportant,'" he wrote in an email. While the influence of ApoE4 is now accepted, when Roses published his findings in 1993, the scientific community was dubious that a gene involved in cholesterol transport would also be involved in Alzheimer's.
- Dr. Samuel Gandy, Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Associate Director, Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center