What pharmacologic research is being conducted for the treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD)?

Updated: May 09, 2019
  • Author: Shaheen E Lakhan, MD, PhD, MS, MEd; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Current pharmacologic research in AD focuses principally on the development of disease-modifying drugs that can slow or reverse the progression of AD. Targets of these investigational agents have included beta-amyloid production, aggregation, and clearance, as well as tau phosphorylation and assembly. To date, none of these drugs has demonstrated efficacy in phase III trials. [99] However, a 2018 phase II study showed promising results for an antiamyloid agent in patients with early-stage AD. The study included 856 patients with early AD (mild cognitive impairment due to AD or mild AD dementia) and amyloid pathology confirmed by positron-emission tomography (PET) or cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) tracer. The agent, BAN2401, was found to significantly reduce brain amyloid at high doses. The study also showed a dose-dependent, statistically significant, and clinically meaningful slower decline in cognition and function with the highest dose compared to placebo. [100]

Potential surgical treatments in the future may include the use of devices to infuse neurotrophic factors, such as growth factors, to palliate AD.


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