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BMC Med. 2009 Feb 19;7:7. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-7-7.

Recent developments in Alzheimer's disease therapeutics.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurosciences, University of California-San Diego, Gilman Drive M/C 0949, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA. mrafii@ucsd.edu

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease is a devastating neurological disorder that affects more than 37 million people worldwide. The economic burden of Alzheimer's disease is massive; in the United States alone, the estimated direct and indirect annual cost of patient care is at least $100 billion. Current FDA-approved drugs for Alzheimer's disease do not prevent or reverse the disease, and provide only modest symptomatic benefits. Driven by the clear unmet medical need and a growing understanding of the molecular pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease, the number of agents in development has increased dramatically in recent years. Truly *'disease-modifying' therapies that target the underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease have now reached late stages of human clinical trials. Primary targets include beta-amyloid, whose presence and accumulation in the brain is thought to contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease, and tau protein which, when hyperphosphorylated, results in the self-assembly of tangles of paired helical filaments also believed to be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. In this review, we briefly discuss the current status of Alzheimer's disease therapies under study, as well the scientific context in which they have been developed.

PMID:
19228370
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2649159
Free PMC Article
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