Introduction: Alzheimer disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by severe cognitive impairment, inability to perform activities of daily living and mood changes. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors or NMDA glutamate receptor antagonists are currently used for the treatment of AD, but only the former have weak beneficial effects on cognitive function. Areas covered: The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the main pharmacological features of both current drugs and new compounds which are still under clinical development for the treatment of AD. Expert opinion: The discovery of new drugs acting at the early stage of AD could be considered as a ''medical need'' and inhibitors of γ?-secretase or monoclonal antibodies against Aβ? seemed good options. However, inhibitors of γ?-secretase, that is, tarenflurbil or semagacestat, were discontinued due to their lack of cognitive improvement or unacceptable side effects. A careful evaluation of the risk:benefit ratio should be considered for monoclonal antibodies since, by increasing the disaggregation of fibrillar amyloid-β?-peptide (Aβ?), they could increase the neurotoxicity of soluble Aβ? oligomers. In conclusion, the discovery of new drugs efficacious in AD subjects is an ambitious goal, however, and one that will require close, active collaboration by pharmacologists, chemists and clinicians.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs|
|State||Published - Sep 2011|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors report no conflict of interest. This work was supported by Fondi Ateneo to Cesare Mancuso.
- Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors
- Alzheimer disease
- Monoclonal antibodies
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)