A Brief Overview of Tauopathy: Causes, Consequences, and Therapeutic Strategies

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2017 Jul;38(7):637-648. doi: 10.1016/j.tips.2017.03.011. Epub 2017 Apr 25.


There are currently no disease-modifying therapies for the treatment of tauopathies, a group of progressive neurodegenerative disorders that are pathologically defined by the presence of tau protein aggregates in the brain. Current challenges for the treatment of tauopathies include the inability to diagnose early and to confidently discriminate between distinct tauopathies in patients, alongside an incomplete understanding of the cellular mechanisms involved in pathogenic tau-induced neuronal death and dysfunction. In this review, we describe current diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, known drivers of pathogenic tau formation, recent contributions to our current mechanistic understanding of how pathogenic tau induces neuronal death, and potential diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; metabolic syndrome; neurodegeneration; tau; tauopathy; traumatic brain injury.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Death
  • Humans
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Tauopathies / diagnosis*
  • Tauopathies / pathology
  • Tauopathies / therapy*