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Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that impairs memory and cognitive judgment and is often accompanied by mood swings, disorientation and eventually delirium. It is the most common cause of dementia.
The contribution of epigenetics to many aspects of neuronal development and function is becoming apparent. In this Review, Zukin and colleagues describe how the dysregulation of epigenetic mechanisms may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases.
Cerebral blood flow regulation is essential for normal brain function. In this Review, Kisler and colleagues examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie cerebral blood flow regulation at the arteriole and capillary level, and how neurovascular dysfunction contributes to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease.
The first large trial of a multimodal lifestyle intervention combined with a nutritional supplement for dementia prevention was unsuccessful and adds to conflicting evidence from similar studies. Whether lifestyle interventions are biologically ineffective or whether the lack of efficacy is due to methodological limitations remains to be determined.
Genome-wide association studies have provided important insights into the genetic underpinnings of Alzheimer disease (AD), but the relevance of the identified variants to AD pathogenesis is often unclear. A new study uses a powerful quantitative trait approach to identify genetic variants that are associated with biologically meaningful parameters in AD.