- Fronto-Temporal Dementia
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of age-related dementia, affecting more than 25 million people worldwide. The accumulation of insoluble ß-amyloid (Aß) plaques in the brain has long been considered central to the pathogenesis of AD (green in panel to the left). However, recent evidence suggests that soluble oligomeric assemblies of Aß may be of greater importance. APP processing yields Aβ monomers, which undergo oligomerization, eventually forming amyloid fibrils and plaques. Aß oligomers have been found to be potent synaptotoxins, but the mechanism by which they exert their action had remained elusive. We recently found that cellular prion protein (PrP-C) is a high-affinity receptor for Aß oligomers, mediating their toxic effects on synaptic plasticity.