Nanocarrier-based approaches for treatment and detection of Alzheimer's disease

J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2014 Jan;14(1):137-56. doi: 10.1166/jnn.2014.8906.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurological disorder in people over the age of 65. It has been estimated that in 2010 there were 4.7 million individuals aged 65 years or older with AD dementia, and it is projected that the total number of individuals with AD dementia in 2050 will be 13.8 million. The most commonly believed cause and most frequently studied aspect of AD is the aggregation of beta amyloid (Abeta), both as soluble Abeta and in the form of extracellular plaque. Treatment options are limited mainly due to the inability of drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier. Nanoparticulate drug carriers that have been targeted to the brain are able to pass through by virtue of their size, surface potential, surface coatings (e.g., polyethylene glycol, polysorbate), surface decoration with ligands or antibodies attached toward the receptors on the blood-brain barrier. Herein, we discuss the current front-runner nanocarriers under investigation for effective delivery of pharmaceuticals active in the treatment and detection of AD and their mechanisms and discuss a few of the outstanding studies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / chemistry*
  • Contrast Media / chemical synthesis
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods*
  • Nanocapsules / chemistry
  • Nanocapsules / therapeutic use*


  • Contrast Media
  • Nanocapsules