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The concept of resilience to Alzheimer’s Disease

Research group Verhaagen
Publication year 2024
Published in Molecular Neurodegeneration
Authors Luuk E de Vries, Inge Huitinga, Helmut W Kessels, Dick F Swaab, Joost Verhaagen

Some individuals are able to maintain their cognitive abilities despite the presence of significant Alzheimer's Disease (AD) neuropathological changes. This discrepancy between cognition and pathology has been labeled as resilience and has evolved into a widely debated concept. External factors such as cognitive stimulation are associated with resilience to AD, but the exact cellular and molecular underpinnings are not completely understood. In this review, we discuss the current definitions used in the field, highlight the translational approaches used to investigate resilience to AD and summarize the underlying cellular and molecular substrates of resilience that have been derived from human and animal studies, which have received more and more attention in the last few years. From these studies the picture emerges that resilient individuals are different from AD patients in terms of specific pathological species and their cellular reaction to AD pathology, which possibly helps to maintain cognition up to a certain tipping point. Studying these rare resilient individuals can be of great importance as it could pave the way to novel therapeutic avenues for AD.

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