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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Apr;1772(4):503-8. Epub 2006 Dec 13.

The cell cycle hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease: suggestions for drug development.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Psychology, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK.


The cell cycle of hypothesis of neural dysfunction in chronic neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) offers a unified approach to understanding both existing and novel strategies for drug development. At the present time, a ligand based approach is a pragmatic solution for identifying new chemical leads on which to base future discovery and optimisation. We have pursued a ligand based approach on the basis of public domain data to identify existing compounds capable of abrogating the cell cycle at the G0-G1 interface. Selected on this basis, irrespective of the tissue under study, we identified several classes of compounds as potential chemical leads. Of these compounds, at least ten have already been shown to be neuroprotective in animal models of acute neurodegeneration. Such compounds could form the basis of a screening exercise after development of suitable screening tools. Progressing of chemical leads through such an approach will be more efficient if future leads display relevant "drug-like" properties. Further, drug development in this arena should take account of the special concerns raised by targeting an elderly population. This will involve accounting for frequent polypharmacy in the aging population, and age-related alterations in physiology.

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