A turning point of research in Alzheimer's disease was undoubtedly the discovery of BACE1, the amyloid-β precursor protein-cleaving enzyme that initiates the generation of amyloid-β, the peptide strongly suspected to be responsible for neuronal malfunction and death. Several research groups started a race to identify the best inhibitor of BACE1 activity. On the other hand, basic researchers are evaluating the changes in BACE1 expression and activity with the aim to better understand the pathogenetic process of the disease. Along this second line of research, in the last few years many important results have been reported in various experimental models, as well as in Alzheimer's disease patients. As a consequence, new pathogenetic paradigms have been developed. We have reviewed these reports trying to highlight contrasting viewpoints, data awaiting final confirmation, and promising perspectives.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology