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Drug discovery and neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer's disease

Mary L. Michaelis
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 9 Number 4: Page 214 (August 2003)

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Abstract: A decade ago, so little was known about the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease that almost no potential pharmacotherapies were envisioned. Since then, the acetylcholinesterase inhibitors were approved, but these offer only a limited period of stabilization before cognitive decline resumes. Recent discoveries regarding proteins and signaling events involved in the pathogenic cascade in Alzheimer's disease have led to many potential new drug targets and mechanism-based strategies for drug development. In addition, retrospective epidemiologic studies have revealed that several older agents, such as statins, antioxidants, and some NSAIDs, reduce the average risk for sporadic, age-related Alzheimer's. Advances in uncovering the pathogenesis of the disease give rise to optimism that combination drug regimens may be found to slow progression of the neurodegeneration.

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