Toward a comprehensive theory of Alzheimer's disease - Challenges, caveats, and parameters

Zaven S. Khachaturian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The task of developing a unifying theory of Alzheimer's disease faces several impediments. The most difficult include: the impact of scientific orthodoxy on the acceptance of new ideas; the uncertain relationship between aging and disease(s); the long time course of the degenerative process; the heterogeneity in the genotype and phenotype of the disease; the complex interactions among genetic and other risk factors (many of which are not yet known); the poorly understood nonlinear relationships between the neurobiological and the clinical phenotypes of the disease - namely, viewing clinical symptoms as emergent behavior(s) of a complex system; and the paucity of appropriate models or modeling systems for human disease(s) such as Alzheimer's.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-193
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • Emergent behavior(s)
  • Modeling systems
  • Models
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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