Promising Therapies for Alzheimer's Disease

Author(s): Annamaria Confaloni, Giuseppe Tosto, Ada Maria Tata

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 22 , Issue 14 , 2016

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Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most frequent progressive neurodegenerative disease. Cholinergic dysfunction is one of the major pathological alteration, although depletion of cholinergic neurons is caused by the well-established toxicity of the beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Cholinergic dysfunctions are consequences of the decrease in acetylcholine synthesis and release, and altered function of muscarinic and nicotinic cholinergic receptors. In addition, a direct correlation between cholinergic alteration, amyloidbeta production and tau phosphorylation, two main AD-pathology hallmarks, has been identified. Methods: In the present review we focused our discussion on the identification of new allosteric or bitopic ligands able to modulate the cholinergic receptor activity. Moreover drug delivery methodology (nanoparticeles, liposomes, etc.) that might contribute to drive the drug in the brain, reducing their toxicity and potential side effects have been also discussed. Results: Many drugs are currently in use for AD (e.g. donepezil, rivastigmine etc.) and several of those in development such as muscarininc and nicotinic agonists, target specifically the cholinergic system; the main mechanism aims to rescue the cholinergic dysfunction, to reduce neurotoxic protein accumulation and improve the cholinergic impairments responsible of the cognitive deficits. Promising approaches aim to either improve drug delivery into the brain or develope new compounds targeting known or new molecular pathways. Nanoparticles and liposomes are also described as new nanotechnology tools that overcome traditional routes of administration, with a particular focus on their employment for compounddelivery that targets the cholinergic system. Ultimately, a new fields of research is emerging as the use of induced pluripotent stem cells, a technology that allows to obtain cells directly from the patients that can be propagated indefinetely and differentiated into the susceptible neuronal subtypes. This may significantly contribute to improve the understanding of AD pathological processes and enhance current AD pharmacology beyond the cholinergic dysfunction. Conclusion: From the topics discussed in the present review, emerges that the combination between pharmacological studies and nanotechnological approaches for drug delivery and the identification of new specific models may largely enhance and improve the therapeutic strategies for different neurological disease including AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, nicotinic receptors, muscarinic receptors, AChE inhibitors, nanoparticles, iPs.

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Article Details

Year: 2016
Published on: 15 February, 2016
Page: [2050 - 2056]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1381612822666160215154218
Price: $65

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