First described by Alois Alzheimer in 1907, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common dementia type, affecting approximately 20 million people worldwide. As the population is getting older, AD is a growing health problem. AD is characterized by the presence of neuritic plaques containing the amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) and an intraneuronal accumulation of tubule-associated protein called tau. Currently available treatment used in AD is based on acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, since in the course of AD there is a substantial loss in cholinergic neurons. Another registered drug used in more severe AD is the NMDA antagonist-memantine. From a drug development point of view, some potential new AD therapeutics include neuroprotective peptides that may act in a variety of different ways, e.g. they help to break the amyloid plaque formation, modulate peptide processing enzymes (secretases) or are able to degrade Abeta toxic peptide. In this review, we present an overview of the new classes of compounds in use against AD.
Alzheimer's disease; neuroprotective peptide; Abeta peptide
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