Interpreting Alzheimer's disease clinical trials in light of the effects on amyloid-β

Alzheimers Res Ther. 2014 Mar 12;6(2):14. doi: 10.1186/alzrt244. eCollection 2014.


The failure of several potential Alzheimer's disease therapeutics in mid- to late-stage clinical development has provoked significant discussion regarding the validity of the amyloid hypothesis. In this review, we propose a minimum criterion of 25% for amyloid-β (Aβ) lowering to achieve clinically meaningful slowing of disease progression. This criterion is based on genetic, risk factor, clinical and preclinical studies. We then compare this minimum criterion with the degree of Aβ lowering produced by the potential therapies that have failed in clinical trials. If the proposed minimum Aβ lowering criterion is used, then the amyloid hypothesis has yet to be adequately tested in the clinic. Therefore, we believe that the amyloid hypothesis remains valid and remains to be confirmed or refuted in future clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review