Over the last 30 years, researchers have made remarkable progress in understanding healthy brain function and what goes wrong in Alzheimer’s disease.
Beta-amyloid is the chief component of plaques, one hallmark Alzheimer brain abnormality. Scientists now have a detailed understanding of how this protein fragment is clipped from its parent compound amyloid precursor protein (APP) by two enzymes — beta-secretase and gamma-secretase. Researchers are developing medications aimed at virtually every point in amyloid processing. This includes blocking activity of both enzymes; preventing the beta-amyloid fragments from clumping into plaques; and even using antibodies against beta-amyloid to clear it from the brain. Several clinical trials of investigational drugs targeting beta-amyloid are included below in the key clinical trial summaries.
For more information watch this clip, from Alzheimer's Association
Beta-amyloid Protein and Alzheimer's (approx 13 min.)