Is focusing on removing amyloid plaque buildup the way to go?

MNT also spoke with Clifford Segil, DO, a neurologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, about this study. Segil was also not involved in this research.

Segil expressed more doubt about the therapeutic potential tied to this study’s findings. In his view, targeting plaque build-up in the brain may not necessarily be the best way to go in fighting Alzheimer’s.

Without mincing words, he said: “It upsets me to see researchers blindly note cognitive decline and memory loss from neurodegeneration are linked to amyloid-beta and neurofibrillary tangles, when clinicians on the front line treating and diagnosing patients with dementias continue to sour on the ‘amyloid hypothesis’ as clinically-available and highly-effective anti-brain-amyloid medications continue to produce modest improvements in cognition per pharmaceutical company provided data and without any noticeable clinical improvements to [a] clinical neurologist.”

Referencing the recent controversy that cast a shadow of doubt over the widely-embraced hypothesis that beta-amyloid plaques are at least partly to brain for Alzheimer’s symptoms, Segil pointed out that:

“This paper’s claim [that] amyloid and tangles cause cognitive decline and memory loss is becoming less believable over time as anti-brain amyloid medications are being used and patients receiving these medications in the real world are not having any noticeable improvements.”

He also noted that many clinicians like himself see patients with high brain-amyloid burden without any cognitive complaints, as well as those with low brain-amyloid burden and disabling and severe cognitive complaints.

“Findings focusing on removing amyloid plaque buildup are not going to help find new ways to treat the memory loss patients with Alzheimer’s dementia get,” Segil claimed.

Nevertheless, he met some of the other study findings with more enthusiasm, saying: “I am excited to see if the plexin-B1 noted in this study that works on brain neuron support cells or glia can produce improvements in memory separate [from] their effects on brain amyloid.”

“I would like more research done on brain microglia and [the] brain lymphatic systemTrusted Source,” Segil added. “When I obtained my [Bachelor of Science] in neuroscience in 1996, there was no agreement then [that the] brain had a lymphatic system, and more research should be done on novel ways to engage brain microglial cell function as they relate to memory loss,” he told us.