Alzheimer's Disease: Advances in Drug Development

J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;65(1):3-13. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180145.


As of 2018, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of neurodegenerative dementia. It contributes to a progressive neuron loss, deterioration of memory, and cognitive impairment. Current therapies may provide a symptomatic benefit, but do not treat the underlying process. Ongoing researches focus on understanding the causal mechanisms and finding neuropathological hallmarks of AD. Therapeutic approaches targeting senile plaques or neurofibrillary tangles have not yet resulted in a significant cognitive improvement. However, recent data according to the analysis of AD clinical trials ( database) show promising results. This literature review aims at summarizing the recent advances and at highlighting the most promising results of the ongoing researches. It compares the merits of small-molecules, antibodies, cell, and gene-based therapies and emphasizes the need for treatment at earlier stages of the disease.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid-β peptides; amyloid-β protein precursor secretases; cell- and tissue-based therapy; early onset; genetic therapy; immunotherapy; tau proteins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Development*
  • Humans


  • Antipsychotic Agents