Advertisement
Feature Article

What’s the future of treatment for Alzheimer’s disease?

Cassandra EI Szoeke, Stephen R Campbell, Nicola T Lautenschlager, Olga Yastrubetskaya, David Ames

Figures

Abstract

Accurate diagnosis of the dementia syndrome is essential to provide the best possible therapy. Current treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease are limited to symptomatic therapies (including cholinesterase inhibitors and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists). Potential new treatments are focusing on decreasing amyloid production, increasing amyloid clearance and using immunotherapies.

Key Points

  • Due to our ageing population the prospect of dementia is of increasing concern to people and their families.
  • Dementia is a syndrome characterised by a decline in memory and at least one other cognitive ability that is severe enough to cause a significant impairment of social or occupational functioning.
  • Modifiable risk factors include the potentially protective effects of a high antioxidant diet, statin therapy, exercise and higher education.
  • Current treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease are limited to symptomatic therapies. These include cholinesterase inhibitors and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists.
  • Nonpharmacological approaches are worth considering because of their low costs and low risks of side effects, as well as their ability to complement pharmacological approaches and their benefits to other health outcomes.
  • Potential new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease are focusing on removing amyloid by decreasing amyloid production, increasing amyloid clearance and using immunotherapies. Other major treatment targets include correcting neuronal damage, neuroprotection and use of anti-inflammatories.

Figures