The current review discusses microtubules and tau in the healthy brain and move on to the underling pathology of Alzheimers disease (AD) with emphasis on tau and neurofibrillary tangles. Tangles have been associated with cognitive dysfunction causing neurodegeneration in the absence of plaques. AD, the most abundant tauopathy is characterized by β-amyloid plaques and tau tangles. An abundance of tau inclusions, in the absence of β-amyloid deposits, defines Picks disease (frontotemporal lobar degeneration), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), corticobasal degeneration (CBD) and other diseases. Our own focused research is on activity-dependent neuroprtective protein (ADNP). Our findings show that ADNP-deficiency leads to tauopathy which is inhibited by the ADNP derived drug candidate, davunetide (originally known as NAP). The current review further describes tau as a potential diagnostic marker followed by drug candidates that are aimed at fighting tau pathology. A recent historical perspective is the final comment of the manuscript. This paper is not a comprehensive review of the literature rather it gives my own point of view in the face of many publications and a great unmet need for future therapeutics. It is hoped that davunetide, a most advanced drug in clinical development will rapidly advance as a first effective treatment for a number of brain disorders broadly categorized as frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and serve as a prototype for future therapeutic development toward modification and remedy of currently intractable neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: Tau, Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP), Davunetide (NAP).