Is pathological aging a successful resistance against amyloid-beta or preclinical Alzheimer's disease?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals with pathological aging, a form of cerebral amyloidosis in older people, have widespread extracellular amyloid-beta (Aβ) senile plaque deposits in the setting of limited neurofibrillary tau pathology. Unlike the characteristic finding of antemortem cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease patients, individuals with pathological aging usually lack cognitive impairment despite similar Aβ senile plaque burdens. It has been hypothesized that protective or resistance factors may underlie pathological aging, thus minimizing or preventing deleterious effects on cognition. Despite increasing interest and recognition, a review of the literature remains challenging given the range of terms used to describe pathological aging. This debate briefly reviews neuropathologic and biochemical evidence that pathological aging individuals have resistance factors to Aβ plaque pathology. Additionally, we will discuss evidence of pathological aging as an intermediate between normal individuals and Alzheimer's disease patients, and discuss protective or resistance factors against vascular disease and neurofibrillary pathology. Lastly, we will emphasize the need for longitudinal biomarker evidence using amyloid positron emission tomography, which will provide a better understanding of the kinetics of Aβ deposition in pathological aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24
JournalAlzheimer's Research and Therapy
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 6 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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