100 years and counting: prospects for defeating Alzheimer's disease

Science. 2006 Nov 3;314(5800):781-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1132813.


This week marks a century since the first description of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Despite approval of several drugs for AD, the disease continues to rob millions of their memories and their lives. Fortunately, many new therapies directly targeting the mechanisms underlying AD are now in the pipeline. Among the investigative AD therapies in clinical trials are several strategies to block pathogenic amyloid-beta peptides and to rescue vulnerable neurons from degeneration. Complementary but less mature strategies aim to prevent the copathogenic effects of apolipoprotein E and the microtubule-associated protein tau. New insights into selective neuronal vulnerability and the link between aging and AD may provide additional entry points for therapeutic interventions. The predicted increase in AD cases over the next few decades makes the development of better treatments a matter of utmost importance and urgency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / immunology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Nootropic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Vaccination


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Nootropic Agents