Abstract
THE CHEMISTRY BEHIND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE & TWO DECADES OF NEW DRUG DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT FOR ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

*Parve M. Dani and Dr. Satish R. Ingale

ABSTRACT

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a devastating, fatal, neurological disorder with no known cause and no cure. It is primarily a disease of old age, and it has become a very serious problem with the general life-expectancy gradually decreasing. In the US, 13% of people over the age of 65 are afflicted, the figure rising rapidly to 40% of those over 85 years of age. [1] The average period of survival is 8 years after diagnosis. The afflicted person suffers progressive loss of memory and thinking ability, mood swings, personality changes, and loss of independence. Physically, AD is characterized by massive loss of neurons and disruption of synaptic function throughout the brain, beginning in the hippocampus, an area of the cortex that plays a key role in formation of new memories. Genetics plays a small role. A few cases, about 5% of the total, are called familial AD. Due to its complex pathophysiological characteristics, complicated interactions with a large number of genes and proteins, there is still no effective drug treatment of the disease. Amyloid cascade aggregation of senile plaques and hyperphosphorylation of Tau protein to form neurofibrillary tangles are the main pathological features of Alzheimer’s disease, other mechanisms, such as oxidative stress, lack of central cholinergic neurotransmitters, inflammatory reaction and toxic metal ions have also been involved. The purpose of this review is to briefly introduce the progress of the development of the therapeutic agents based on their main mechanisms of action.

Keywords: The average period of survival is 8 years after diagnosis.


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