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Treatment of Alzheimer's disease: future directions

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Following the introduction of tacrine hydrochloride (Cognex┬«) in the United States and several other countries, researchers are pursuing two broad therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer's disease (AD). The first involves identifying agents or combinations of agents whose actions can compensate for the considerable cerebral damage that has typically occurred by the time the diagnosis of AD is made. Such therapeutic approaches include the development of additional cholinesterase inhibitors, agents that work on the receptors of other systems damaged by the disease process, and anti‐inflammatory and immunomodulatory agents. The second and ultimately more promising strategy involves the development of approaches to retard, halt, or even prevent disease progression. Such protective approaches, which depend on the development of more effective methods for predicting and diagnosing AD, include the administration of nerve growth factor and other neurotrophins and the use of pharmacologic or genetic interventions to limit amyloid deposition and the formation of neurofibrillary tangles.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Department of Care of the Elderly, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, England

Publication date: 1996-04-01

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