AbstractThe 'amyloid hypothesis' dominates Alzheimer's disease (AD) research but has failed to deliver effective therapies. Amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin-1 (PSEN1) genetic mutations are undoubtedly pathogenic, albeit by unclear mechanisms. Conversely, high dose B-vitamins convincingly slow brain atrophy in a pre-stage state of sporadic AD. Here we suggest a link between sporadic and genetic AD: 1) Increased serum homocysteine, a marker of B-vitamin deficiencies, is a significant risk factor for sporadic AD. It also correlates with elevated levels of antichymotrypsin, a serine protease inhibitor. 2) Family members with codon 717 APP mutations and dementia have low serum vitamin B12 values. Overexpression of the APP domain coding for a Kunitz type serine protease inhibitor might explain this. 3) PSEN1 mutations disrupt lysosomal function due to reduced proteolytic activity. They also trap cobalamin (B12) within lysosomes, leading to intracellular deficiency of the vitamin. In summary, APP and PSEN1 mutations both confer a risk for reduced protease activity and B12 bio-availability. Comparably, sporadic AD features a constellation of increased protease inhibition and B-vitamin deficiencies, the central part of which is believed to be B12. These concordant observations in three disparate AD etiologies suggest a common neuropathogenic pathway. This hypothesis is evaluable in laboratory and clinical trials.
CitationJournal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD
DescriptionFrom PubMed via Jisc Publications Router
Publication status: aheadofprint