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  1. My speculations about AD include the thought that AD has an extremely long presymptomatic period, which may extend into childhood. This is based on data such as the Braaks finding that 20 percent of people in their 20s have neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and senile plaques (SP), though not meeting the criteria for AD. It is also based on our knowledge that NFT and SP represent only the most obvious of a sequence of more subtle changes in tau conformation and other post-translational modifications that certainly precede the formation of frank NFT; similarly for APP and Aβ, and SP.

    Whether the metals and infectious agents mentioned in this news review are related to this sort of speculation is not at all certain. There are a number of subtle parameters that could be looked at that might be informative.

    View all comments by Paul Coleman