Harvard Mental Health Letter

Failed efforts to thwart Alzheimer's disease raise questions

Combining medications or keeping active may provide modest protection.

Age, family history, and genetic profile all increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. But what sets the disease process in motion remains unclear. The leading hypothesis has been that sticky deposits of amyloid protein in the brain initiate this process.

A number of compounds are under development that seek either to clear amyloid deposits from the brain or prevent them from forming in the first place. Researchers hoped that these compounds, given early enough in the Alzheimer's disease process, might halt or even reverse the pathology underlying memory loss and other thinking deficits.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »