Advances in the Development of Abeta-Related Therapeutic Strategies for Alzheimer's Disease

Colin J. Barrow
Drug News & Perspectives 2002, 15 (2): 102-109
Recent advances in the understanding of fundamental biochemical mechanisms involved in Alzheimer's disease strongly implicate the amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide as a causative agent in this disease. Inhibiting the production and actions of this peptide has emerged as the major therapeutic strategy for developing new drugs to treat and potentially cure Alzheimer's disease. These strategies include inhibition of secretases responsible for releasing Abeta from its parent protein, inhibition of Abeta self-association to form amyloid, antibody-induced clearance of amyloid after immunization and inhibition of Abeta-associated neuronal toxicity. Although there is not yet a drug on the market that acts directly on the Abeta peptide, there are several ongoing clinical studies on agents that aim to treat Alzheimer's disease by targeting the Abeta peptide. Because Abeta release and amyloid formation is an early-stage event that is central to the neuro-pathology of Alzheimer's disease, it is likely that Abeta-related therapeutic strategies will lead to drugs that treat the cause rather than the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. (c) 2002 Prous Science. All rights reserved.


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