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Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2013 Jan;6(1):19-33. doi: 10.1177/1756285612461679.

Current and future treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

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Neurological Department, Laiko General Hospital of Athens, 15127Ag. Thoma 17, Athens, Greece.


Alzheimer's dementia (AD) is increasingly being recognized as one of the most important medical and social problems in older people in industrialized and non-industrialized nations. To date, only symptomatic treatments exist for this disease, all trying to counterbalance the neurotransmitter disturbance. Three cholinesterase inhibitors (CIs) are currently available and have been approved for the treatment of mild to moderate AD. A further therapeutic option available for moderate to severe AD is memantine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor noncompetitive antagonist. Treatments capable of stopping or at least effectively modifying the course of AD, referred to as 'disease-modifying' drugs, are still under extensive research. To block the progression of the disease they have to interfere with the pathogenic steps responsible for the clinical symptoms, including the deposition of extracellular amyloid β plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangle formation, inflammation, oxidative damage, iron deregulation and cholesterol metabolism. In this review we discuss current symptomatic treatments and new potential disease-modifying therapies for AD that are currently being studied in phase I-III trials.


Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid; disease-modifying drugs; inflammation; tau protein; therapeutic targets

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