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Axonal Degeneration in AD: The Contribution of Aβ and Tau
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
October 15, 2020
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represents the most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder, affecting around 35 million people worldwide. Despite enormous efforts dedicated to AD research over decades, there is still no cure for the disease. Misfolding and accumulation of Aβ and tau proteins in the brain constitute a defining signature of AD neuropathology, and mounting evidence has documented a link between aggregation of these proteins and neuronal dysfunction. In this context, progressive axonal degeneration has been associated with early stages of AD and linked to Aβ and tau accumulation. As the axonal degeneration mechanism has been starting to be unveiled, it constitutes a promising target for neuroprotection in AD. A comprehensive understanding of the mechanism of axonal destruction in neurodegenerative conditions is therefore critical for the development of new therapies aimed to prevent axonal loss before irreversible neuronal death occurs in AD. Here, we review current evidence of the involvement of Aβ and tau pathologies in the activation of signaling cascades that can promote axonal demise.