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J Physiol Paris. 1998 Jun-Aug;92(3-4):289-92.

The role of A beta 42 in Alzheimer's disease.

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Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA.


Our recent studies of plasma, fibroblasts, transfected cells and transgenic mice show that a fundamental effect of the mutations linked to familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) is to increase the extracellular concentration of A beta 42. This effect of the FAD-linked mutations is likely to be directly related to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) because A beta 42 is deposited early and selectively in the senile plaques that are an invariant feature of all forms of AD. Thus our results provide strong evidence that the FAD-linked mutations all cause AD by increasing the extracellular concentration of A beta 42 (43), thereby fostering A beta deposition, and they support the hypothesis that cerebral A beta deposition is an essential early event in the pathogenesis of all forms of AD. Interactions between the basal forebrain cholinergic system and A beta that could influence AD pathogenesis are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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