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F1000 Med Rep. 2009 Jul 8;1. pii: 54. doi: 10.3410/M1-54.

Treatment advances in Alzheimer's disease based on the oxidative stress model.

Abstract

Effective therapy for Alzheimer's disease (AD), up to this point, has been hampered by our inability to diagnose the disease in its early stages, before the occurrence of significant neurodegeneration and clinical symptoms. Because AD historically has been defined by neuropathologic criteria, treatment strategies have been aimed at diminishing the pathologic end result of the disease process, namely neurodegenerative changes associated with extracellular amyloid-beta-containing plaques, as well as intracellular neurofibrillary tangles of the hyper-phosphorylated microtubule protein, tau. While these avenues continue to be pursued, results thus far have been disappointing. It is now understood that oxidative stress plays a key role in the shared pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases and aging. For experimental treatment of AD, the focus of research and development efforts is increasingly shifting to target mechanisms of oxidative stress. Most recently, dimebon, whose mechanism of action relates to improved mitochondrial function, has emerged as a promising candidate for experimental treatment of AD.

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