Understanding the molecular basis of resilience to Alzheimer’s disease

Author(s): Montine, KS; Berson, E; Phongpreecha, T; Huang, Z; Aghaeepour, N; Zou, JY; MacCoss, MJ; Montine, TJ;
Year: 2023;  
Journal: Frontiers in Neuroscience;  
Volume: 17;  

The cellular and molecular distinction between brain aging and neurodegenerative disease begins to blur in the oldest old. Approximately 15-25% of observations in humans do not fit predicted clinical manifestations, likely the result of suppressed damage despite usually adequate stressors and of resilience, the suppression of neurological dysfunction despite usually adequate degeneration. Factors during life may predict the clinico-pathologic state of resilience: cardiovascular health and mental health, more so than educational attainment, are predictive of a continuous measure of resilience to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and AD-related dementias (ADRDs). In resilience to AD alone (RAD), core features include synaptic and axonal processes, especially in the hippocampus. Future focus on larger and more diverse cohorts and additional regions offer emerging opportunities to understand this counterforce to neurodegeneration. The focus of this review is the molecular basis of resilience to AD.