Alzheimer Disease: An Update on Pathobiology and Treatment Strategies

Cell. 2019 Oct 3;179(2):312-339. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.09.001. Epub 2019 Sep 26.


Alzheimer disease (AD) is a heterogeneous disease with a complex pathobiology. The presence of extracellular β-amyloid deposition as neuritic plaques and intracellular accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau as neurofibrillary tangles remains the primary neuropathologic criteria for AD diagnosis. However, a number of recent fundamental discoveries highlight important pathological roles for other critical cellular and molecular processes. Despite this, no disease-modifying treatment currently exists, and numerous phase 3 clinical trials have failed to demonstrate benefits. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of AD pathobiology and discuss current treatment strategies, highlighting recent clinical trials and opportunities for developing future disease-modifying therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease* / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease* / therapy
  • Alzheimer Vaccines / pharmacology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides* / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides* / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins E / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Apolipoproteins E / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Plaque, Amyloid / metabolism*
  • tau Proteins* / antagonists & inhibitors
  • tau Proteins* / metabolism


  • Alzheimer Vaccines
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • ApoE protein, human
  • Apolipoproteins E
  • MAPT protein, human
  • tau Proteins