New piperazine multi-effect drugs prevent neurofibrillary degeneration and amyloid deposition, and preserve memory in animal models of Alzheimer's disease

Neurobiol Dis. 2019 Sep:129:217-233. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2019.03.028. Epub 2019 Mar 27.


Alzheimer's Disease is a devastating dementing disease involving amyloid deposits, neurofibrillary tangles, progressive and irreversible cognitive impairment. Today, only symptomatic drugs are available and therapeutic treatments, possibly acting at a multiscale level, are thus urgently needed. To that purpose, we designed multi-effects compounds by synthesizing drug candidates derived by substituting a novel N,N'-disubstituted piperazine anti-amyloid scaffold and adding acetylcholinesterase inhibition property. Two compounds were synthesized and evaluated. The most promising hybrid molecule reduces both the amyloid pathology and the Tau pathology as well as the memory impairments in a preclinical model of Alzheimer's disease. In vitro also, the compound reduces the phosphorylation of Tau and inhibits the release of Aβ peptides while preserving the processing of other metabolites of the amyloid precursor protein. We synthetized and tested the first drug capable of ameliorating both the amyloid and Tau pathology in animal models of AD as well as preventing the major brain lesions and associated memory impairments. This work paves the way for future compound medicines against both Alzheimer's-related brain lesions development and the associated cognitive impairments.

Keywords: Acetylcholinesterase; Alzheimer's disease; Amyloid; Microtubule-associated protein tau; Multi-effect drugs; Neurofibrillary tangles; Tauopathies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Cell Line
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nerve Degeneration / pathology*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Piperazines / pharmacology*
  • Plaque, Amyloid / pathology


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Piperazines