Neuronal activity directly promotes the production and secretion of amyloid β (Aβ). Interestingly, neuronal hyperactivity can be observed in presymptomatic stages of both sporadic and familial Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and in several AD mouse models. In this review, we will highlight the recent evidence for neuronal hyperactivity before or during the onset of cognitive defects in mild cognitive impairment. Furthermore, we review specific molecular mechanisms through which neuronal hyperactivity affects Aβ production and degradation. With these data, we will provide more insight into the 2-faced nature of neuronal hyperactivity: does enhanced neuronal activity during the presymptomatic stages of AD provide protection against the earliest disease processes or is it a pathogenic contributor to AD?
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