The importance of making substantial progress in the understanding of the causes and the treatment of sufferers with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia, including vascular dementia, is obvious. It can be pointed out that discrimination between these diseases is not always straightforward, as brains may show mixed features of the diseases e.g. plaques and tangles plus microinfarcts or Lewy bodies can appear in more cognitively impaired cases than those whose brains contained only comparable levels of the plaques and tangles characteristic of Alzheimer’s.
The most recently published study in Nature Communications by Iturria-Medina et al.is particularly outstanding and important. It employed a plethora of sophisticated approaches to expose the multifactorial mechanisms underlying late-onsetAlzheimer’s disease (LOAD); these included multiple imaging techniques to measure amyloid concentration, glucose metabolism, cerebral blood flow (using Arterial Spin Labeling), functional activity and brain atrophy in a number (78) of regions of the brain, virtually covering all grey matter.