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Title: Is amyloid-β harmful to the brain? Insights from human imaging studies

Although the amyloid-β protein associated with the Alzheimer’s disease plaque has been detectable in living people for over a decade, its importance in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease is still debated. The frequent presence of amyloid-β in the brains of cognitively healthy older people has been interpreted as evidence against a causative role. If amyloid-β is crucial to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, it should be associated with other Alzheimer’s disease-like neurological changes. Here, this review examines whether amyloid-β is associated with other biomarkers indicative of early Alzheimer’s disease in normal older people. The preponderance of evidence links amyloid-β to functional change, progressive brain atrophy, and cognitive decline. Individuals at greatest risk of decline seem to be those with evidence of both amyloid-β and findings suggestive of neurodegeneration. Lastly, the crucial question is thus how amyloid-β is related to brain degeneration and how these two processes interact to cause cognitive decline and dementia.
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Helen Wills Neuroscience Inst.
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231; AG034570
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Brain (Journal of Neurology)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Brain (Journal of Neurology); Journal Volume: 139; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0006-8950
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; ageing; Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid; neurodegeneration; biomarkers
OSTI Identifier: