This is an interesting study that looked at the plaques, themselves in Alzheimer's Disease. Studies, such as this one, are used to develope pharmaceutical 'improvements' to naturally occurring compounds. By altering the non-patentable, naturally occuring compounds, companies can introduce patented pharmaceuticals. While this is often beneficial to the consumer, just as often it is a more expensive alternative to the naturally occuring substances.
Case in point: "Gee, I remember when fish oil was ineffective to treat anything, let alone heart disease." Now that there is a prescription fish oil product, it magically works. Go figure.
Ono K, Naiki H, & Yamada M: The development of preventives and therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease that inhibit the formation of beta-amyloid fibrils (fAbeta), as well as destabilize preformed fAbeta.Curr Pharm Des: 2006;12(33):4357-75.
Neuritic plaques composed mainly of amyloid beta-protein (Abeta) in the brain are an early and invariant neuropathological feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The current search for anti-AD drugs is mainly focused on modification of the process of Abeta deposition in the brain. In this article, the recent development of the molecules that inhibit the formation of beta-amyloid fibrils (fAbeta), as well as destabilize preformed fAbeta is reviewed. Recently, various compounds such as curcumin, nicotine and wine-related polyphenols have been reported to inhibit the formation, extension of fAbeta, as well as destabilize preformed fAbeta at pH 7.5 at 37 degrees C in vitro. In cell culture experiments, destabilized fAbeta were suggested to be less toxic than intact fAbeta. In transgenic mice model study, some coumpounds such as curcumin and nicotine have also been reported to reduce plaque burden in vivo. Although the mechanisms by which these compounds inhibit fAbeta formation from Abeta, and destabilize preformed fAbeta are still unclear, they could be key molecules for the development of preventives and therapeutics for AD.
Even the highest quality, pharmaceutical grade Curcumin is inexpensive. For Alzheimer's Disease, recommend 500-600 mg of curcumin, once or twice daily. For Alzheimer's Prevention, 500-600 mg once daily is probably enough.
I use the Silymarin/curcumin combination in men, three times daily, but it can lower estrogen levels in women, so it needs to be used in females more carefully.