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J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;62(3):965-992. doi: 10.3233/JAD-171145.

Alzheimer's Disease: A Journey from Amyloid Peptides and Oxidative Stress, to Biomarker Technologies and Disease Prevention Strategies-Gains from AIBL and DIAN Cohort Studies.

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Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, Australia.
Australian Alzheimer's Research Foundation, Ralph and Patricia Sarich Neuroscience Research Institute, Nedlands, WA, Australia.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia, Perth WA, Australia.
KaRa Institute of Neurological Diseases, Sydney NSW, Australia.
Department of Nuclear Medicine and Centre for PET, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Australia.
Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Parkville, VIC, Australia.
Cooperative Research Centre for Mental Health, Carlton, VIC, Australia.
School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Bentley, WA, Australia.
Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Toronto, ON, Canada.
CSIRO Australian e-Health Research Centre/Health and Biosecurity, Perth, WA, Australia.
University of North Texas Health Science Centre, Fort Worth, TX, USA.
National Ageing Research Institute, Parkville, VIC, Australia.
University of Melbourne Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age, St George's Hospital, Kew, VIC, Australia.
Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia.
School of Psychology and Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Perth, WA, Australia.
eHealth, CSIRO Health and Biosecurity, Parkville, VIC, Australia.
Collaborative Genomics Group, Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care, School of Medical Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, Australia.
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Anglicare, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW, Australia.
CSIRO Health and Biosecurity, Australian E-Health Research Centre, Brisbane, Australia.
Department of Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.


Worldwide there are over 46 million people living with dementia, and this number is expected to double every 20 years reaching about 131 million by 2050. The cost to the community and government health systems, as well as the stress on families and carers is incalculable. Over three decades of research into this disease have been undertaken by several research groups in Australia, including work by our original research group in Western Australia which was involved in the discovery and sequencing of the amyloid-β peptide (also known as Aβ or A4 peptide) extracted from cerebral amyloid plaques. This review discusses the journey from the discovery of the Aβ peptide in Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain to the establishment of pre-clinical AD using PET amyloid tracers, a method now serving as the gold standard for developing peripheral diagnostic approaches in the blood and the eye. The latter developments for early diagnosis have been largely achieved through the establishment of the Australian Imaging Biomarker and Lifestyle research group that has followed 1,100 Australians for 11 years. AIBL has also been instrumental in providing insight into the role of the major genetic risk factor apolipoprotein E ɛ4, as well as better understanding the role of lifestyle factors particularly diet, physical activity and sleep to cognitive decline and the accumulation of cerebral Aβ.


Alzheimer’s disease; Aβ; amyloid; apolipoprotein E; biomarker; dementia; early diagnosis; preclinical

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