Mechanisms that Control the Progression of Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that begins with the patient experiencing mild cognitive impairment and often finishes with the patient becoming apathetic and bed-ridden. Institutionalisation is common during the later stages of the disease. The reason why Alzheimer's disease progresses in this manner is poorly understood. Our work suggests that disease progression may be a consequence of a process known as "synaptic scaling" in which normally healthy nerve cells compensate for the loss of other cells, in such a way that they render themselves increasingly vulnerable to neurotoxicity.

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