Early Intervention in Alzheimer’s Disease: How Early is Early Enough?

  • Dong-Yu Fan
  • Yan-Jiang WangEmail author

In 1906, Dr. Alois Alzheimer reported a case of dementia and thought it was a new type of disease. Later, Dr. Emil Kraepelin named it Alzheimer’s disease (AD). One hundred years later, AD has become the most common type of dementia affecting the elderly population and a heavy health burden. However, the pathogenesis of the disease remains unclear, and no disease-modifying therapies are available to prevent, halt, or even slow the progression of the disease [1].

Dr. Alzheimer first observed the presence of intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and extracellular plaques in the brain of the first AD patient. The plaques were identified as being composed of the fibrous β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) [2] and named senile plaques, which are considered to be the only specific pathological hallmark of AD. The pathology of senile plaques has become the gold standard for diagnosing AD. Accordingly, the amyloid cascade hypothesis, in which Aβ accumulates in the brain and drives neurodegeneration and...



This highlight was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91749206 and 81625007).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology and Center for Clinical Neuroscience, Daping HospitalThird Military Medical UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.Chongqing Key Laboratory of Aging and Brain DiseasesChongqingChina

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