Alzheimer's centennial legacy: prospects for rational therapeutic intervention targeting the Abeta amyloid pathway.
The activities of the hexose monophosphate pathway enzymes glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase were measured at autopsy in control and Alzheimer's disease brains. Enzyme activities did not vary between different areas of brain and were unaltered by age. In Alzheimer's disease, the activities of both enzymes were increased, the glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity being almost double the activity of normal controls. We propose that this increased enzyme activity is a response to elevated brain peroxide metabolism.