What causes Alzheimer’s? The main theory is that it’s due to a build-up of amyloid plaques in the brain. But some scientists think that’s hopelessly wrong, and that a hidebound belief in the amyloid hypothesis is stopping us from finding a cure.
In this episode of The Studies Show, Tom and Stuart talk about the amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer’s, ask whether all the hype over the three recent Alzheimer’s drugs (“a momentous breakthrough!”) is justified, and look at some ways we could do better research on dementia.
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The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) - the test Stuart quotes at the start
List and discussion of possible theories for the cause of Alzheimer’s
Chris Hemsworth interview about finding out he’s at high genetic risk of Alzheimer’s
Potential clues about the origin of Alzheimer’s from Down Syndrome
Science investigation of potential fraud in the original Aβ*56 study
Explanation of why it’s bad, but not devastating for the amyloid hypothesis
Derek Lowe’s highly sceptical discussion of the “disgraceful” approval
How do the new Alzheimer’s drugs work in theory? One potential explanation
Paper by Elliot Tucker-Drob on how we measure dementia and how we forget about individual differences while doing so
The Studies Show is produced by Julian Mayers at Yada Yada Productions.