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Prog Neurobiol. 2006 Oct;80(3):114-28. Epub 2006 Nov 2.

Nerve growth factor in treatment and pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Neurosciences and the Center on Aging, Medical University of South Carolina, 173 Ashley Ave BSB 403, Charleston, SC 29425, United States.


The etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is still unknown. In addition, this terrible neurodegenerative disease will increase exponentially over the next two decades due to longer lifespan and an aging "baby-boomer" generation. All treatments currently approved for AD have moderate efficacy in slowing the rate of cognitive decline in patients, and no efficacy in halting progression of the disease. Hence, there is an urgent need for new drug targets and delivery methods to slow or reverse the progression of AD. One molecule that has received much attention in its potential therapeutic role in AD is nerve growth factor (NGF). This review will demonstrate data from humans and animals which promote NGF as a potential therapeutic target by (1) outlining the hypothesis behind using NGF for the treatment of AD, (2) reviewing both the normal and AD altered signaling pathways and effects of NGF in the central nervous system (CNS), and (3) examining the results of NGF treatment obtained from animal models of AD and AD patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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