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Adv Pharmacol. 2012;64:213-71. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394816-8.00007-6.

Beyond amyloid: the future of therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease.

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Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, New York, NY, USA.


Currently, the field is awaiting the results of several pivotal Phase III clinical Alzheimer's disease (AD) trials that target amyloid-β (Aβ). In light of the recent biomarker studies that indicate Aβ levels are at their most dynamic 5-10 years before the onset of clinical symptoms, it is becoming uncertain whether direct approaches to target Aβ will achieve desired clinical efficacy. AD is a complex neurodegenerative disease caused by dysregulation of numerous neurobiological networks and cellular functions, resulting in synaptic loss, neuronal loss, and ultimately impaired memory. While it is clear that Aβ plays a key role in the pathogenesis of AD, it may be a challenging and inefficient target for mid-to-late stage AD intervention. Throughout the course of AD, multiple pathways become perturbed, presenting a multitude of possible therapeutic avenues for design of AD intervention and prophylactic therapies. In this chapter, we sought to first provide an overview of Aβ-directed strategies that are currently in development, and the pivotal Aβ-targeted trials that are currently underway. Next, we delve into the biology and therapeutic designs associated with other key areas of research in the field including tau, protein trafficking and degradation pathways, ApoE, synaptic function, neurotrophic/neuroprotective strategies, and inflammation and energy utilization. For each area we have provided a comprehensive and balanced overview of the therapeutic strategies currently in preclinical and clinical development, which will shape the future therapeutic landscape of AD.

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