Alzheimer's and the Amyloid Hypothesis


Dr. M. Paul Murphy
, a faculty member within the Department of Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, contributed his thoughts on the “amyloid hypothesis” in the July 25, 2018 issue of Nature.

The amyloid hypothesis states that the accumulation of amyloid-βin the brain is the main cause of Alzheimer’s. This is primarily based on the correlation between clumps of amyloid-β in the brain and the neurodegenerative processes observed in Alzheimer’s disease.

The amyloid hypothesis has received skepticism due to the lack of success in drug trials using medicines intended to target these clumps of amyloid-β. Nevertheless, researchers believe there is reason enough to pursue the investigation. 

As a leading researcher of this correlation, Dr. Murphy asserted that the most likely reason for the drug failures is that they were administered too late in the progression of the condition. “We probably have a drug that could treat Alzheimer’s disease if we gave it to people in their 50’s.”

Dr. Murphy continued, saying, “There are a lot of ideas out there that are reasonably well-supported, but very few work on. Some of those might be more important than we think. There’s an awful lot more to be added to the amyloid hypothesis. The time to cast a wider net is now – we need a bigger base of ideas.”


Read the Nature article here to learn more about the Amyloid Hypothesis.