Could ecosystem management provide a new framework for Alzheimer's disease?

Ellen Hubin, Bram Vanschoenwinkel, Kerensa Broersen, Peter P. De Deyn, Nico Koedam, Nico A. van Nuland, Kris Pauwels*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveyAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative brain disorder that involves a plethora of molecular pathways. In the context of therapeutic treatment and biomarker profiling, the amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide constitutes an interesting research avenue that involves interactions within a complex mixture of Aβ alloforms and other disease-modifying factors. Here, we explore the potential of an ecosystem paradigm as a novel way to consider AD and Aβ dynamics in particular. We discuss the example that the complexity of the Aβ network not only exhibits interesting parallels with the functioning of complex systems such as ecosystems but that this analogy can also provide novel insights into the neurobiological phenomena in AD and serve as a communication tool. We propose that combining network medicine with general ecosystem management principles could be a new and holistic approach to understand AD pathology and design novel therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-74.e1
Number of pages10
JournalAlzheimer's & dementia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • AD therapy
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid-beta peptide
  • Aβ alloform
  • Communication
  • Ecosystem management
  • Eutrophication
  • Network medicine
  • Spatiotemporal dynamics


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