Wafa Harrouk, PhD
Anti-amyloid Approaches to Treating Alzheimer's Disease
Steven T. DeKosky, MD, from the Western Psychiatric Institute of the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA), asserted that although current therapeutic strategies are targeted to increase cognition and control behaviour of patients with AD, future treatments are more likely to focus on early detection of the disease. This early treatment will enable clinicians to minimize the symptoms and progression of the disease and to detect pre-symptomatic disease in order to prevent the emergence of the symptoms. In the far future, the restoration of cognitive function in these patients will be the goal.
Dr. DeKosky stated that there are specific and non-specific approaches to altering the progression of the disease. On the specific side, research is focused on 'curing' the disease by aiding the regeneration of lost neurons, whereas on side of the 'non-specific' approach a number of different therapies have been developed. These include any treatment that affects the production of b-amyloid, the use of anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, analogs of estrogen, neurotrophic agents and vitamins. He also discussed the development of a vaccine to accelerate the clearance of b-amyloids, which is discussed in greater detail in a later article. Other approaches have been focused on blocking the aggregation of amyloids.