In his latest book, Alzheimer’s Disease Research: What Has Guided Research So Far and Why It Is High Time for a Paradigm Shift, neuroscientist Christian Behl outlines the history of Alzheimer’s research up to the present day and criticizes that for too long research has focused on one particular hypothesis, the so-called “amyloid-cascade-hypothesis,” and has not adequately followed a wider range of promising research paths. From the work of the disease’s namesake Aloysius Alzheimer 100 years ago, to the most recent drug developments and controversies of the last decades, Behl tracks how much of the research has almost exclusively concentrated on the role of amyloid beta peptide, a key component of plaques found in the brain of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.
Behl suggests that it is time to re-evaluate the “amyloid cascade hypothesis” and the actual role of amyloid beta peptide in the disease. He presents a number of alternative disease hypotheses and raises pertinent questions about Alzheimer’s disease research strategies, the funding landscape, and the too narrow focus on one dominating hypothesis.
Prof. Dr. Behl will introduce his book, and then dive into a discussion with Dr. Tia Powell. The discussion will address various topics surrounding Alzheimer’s disease research including the following questions:
· Why are the exact causes of Alzheimer’s disease still in the dark, despite the immense, global research efforts in academia as well as in the pharmaceutical industry?
· Why has the majority of an entire research field kept focusing on a single hypothesis that establishes the deposition of the amyloid beta peptide in the brain as the key trigger of Alzheimer’s pathology, even though this concept has still not been convincingly proven in the clinics?
· Are there other hypotheses that might explain the pathogenesis of this complex brain disease, and if so, why were these perspectives not adequately followed?
Date and Time: September 14th, 2023 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: The New York Academy of Medicine (1216 5th Avenue New York, NY 10029)