It is now almost a century ago that Alois Alzheimer first presented his results in public. Main characteristics of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are massive cerebral accumulation of amyloid, composed of fibrillary aggregates of the Amyloid beta peptide (Aβ) and intracellular accumulation of abnormally phosphorylated tau protein associated with widespread neurodegeneration. The clinical picture is characterized by progressive and irreversible dementia, which is eventually fatal. To date, there is no cure for this severe disease affecting more than of 30 million individuals worldwide. In the last decades, the treatment of Alzheimer patients was mainly focusing on symptomatical strategies. Based on the augmented knowledge about the mechanisms underlying the pathology of AD, particularly the molecular causes and consequences of AD, different therapeutic approaches arose and recently, treatment with Statins, NSAIDs and Aβ vaccines reached the level of clinical trials, showing some indication of efficacy already. According to actual evaluations, these approaches have realistic chances to become established as therapeutic routine in AD within the next 10 years. We will review here some of the most promising novel approaches to cure and prevent rather than to treat the symptoms of AD.
Centre for Molecular Biology Heidelberg (ZMBH), INF 282, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany;
Publication date: January 1, 2006
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Recent Patents on CNS Drug Discovery publishes review articles on recent patents in the field of CNS drug discovery e.g. novel bioactive compounds, analogs & targets. A selection of important and recent patents on CNS drug discovery is also included in the journal. The journal is essential reading for all researchers involved in CNS drug design and discovery.