Researchers at the University of Minnesota reported that capsase-2 , cuts the full length TAU protein (which accumulates in the brains of patients with AD and is neurotoxic) into fragments. These pieces of protein adversely affect synaptic signaling in dendritic spines directly leading to cognitive impairments in mice. These fragments PRECEDE the formation of aggregated TAU suggesting that the tangles seen are NOT the cause of AD. In fact the memory problems seen in these experimental mice occur BEFORE brain loss suggesting that blocking caspase-2 could be used to treat Alzheimer's disease.
Nat Med 2015:Epub 2016 Oct 10