Drug repositioning for Alzheimer's disease

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2012 Nov;11(11):833-46. doi: 10.1038/nrd3869.


Existing drugs for Alzheimer's disease provide symptomatic benefit for up to 12 months, but there are no approved disease-modifying therapies. Given the recent failures of various novel disease-modifying therapies in clinical trials, a complementary strategy based on repositioning drugs that are approved for other indications could be attractive. Indeed, a substantial body of preclinical work indicates that several classes of such drugs have potentially beneficial effects on Alzheimer's-like brain pathology, and for some drugs the evidence is also supported by epidemiological data or preliminary clinical trials. Here, we present a formal consensus evaluation of these opportunities, based on a systematic review of published literature. We highlight several compounds for which sufficient evidence is available to encourage further investigation to clarify an optimal dose and consider progression to clinical trials in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Approval*
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Drug Industry / economics
  • Humans