The pursuit of a cure for Alzheimer's disease is becoming an increasingly competitive and contentious quest with recent years witnessing several important controversies.
In July 2022, Science magazine reported that a key 2006 research paper, published in the prestigious journal Nature, which identified a subtype of brain protein called beta-amyloid as the cause of Alzheimer's, may have been based on fabricated data.
One year earlier, in June 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration had approved aducanumab, an antibody-targeting beta-amyloid, as a treatment for Alzheimer's, even though the data supporting its use were incomplete and contradictory.
With millions of people needing an effective treatment, why are researchers still fumbling in this quest for a cure for what is arguably one of the most important diseases confronting humankind?
For years, scientists have been focused on trying to come up with new treatments for Alzheimer's by preventing the formation of brain-damaging clumps of this mysterious protein called beta-amyloid.