Background:With higher current life expectancies, finding methods to prevent/ cure Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a hot topic of debate. There are currently no drugs that have been successfully approved by FDA or EMA for AD. Incorporation of lifestyle changes, example healthy diet, physical exercise, mental and cognitive exercise may aid to prevent/ delay this disease. However, individuals who are genetically predisposed to AD obtain little benefit from these lifestyle changes and medical innovations must take a lead. Current methods of treatment to delay progression of AD consist of Cholinesterase inhibitors and NMDA receptor antagonists. These drugs are helpful for a limited time span in improving the cognitive abilities of patients. Currently we have several hundreds of agents and trails in development to modify and prevent AD as discussed below.
There are two major biomarkers associated with AD - Beta Amyloid plaques and hyperphosphorylation of Tau protein leading to formation of neurofibrillary tangles. Current use of PET imaging, have enabled visual real time observation of AD pathology and progression. The major strategies for disease modification of AD include methods to prevent accumulation of these biomarkers, example immunotherapy, antisense technologies and neuro-regeneration using stem cells and/or agents with neuroprotective properties. Current data indicate that we may need to treat AD very early on, even before the onset of illness. AD involves multiple pathways and pathologies. Combination therapies targeting Beta Amyloid plaque accumulation, Tau protein malformation and neurogenic agents appear to be promising for AD modification and prevention. Prevention studies will be discussed.
Dr. Jeffrey T. Apter is the recipient of New Jersey (USA) Top Doctor Award 2018. He graduated from University of Witwatersrand - South Africa, first class in psychiatry. Dr. Apter has numerous publications on mental diseases. He is the President of Global Medical Institutes and Medical Director of Princeton Medical Institute. Dr. Apter is also Senior Attending Physician at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center and Director of Princeton Psychiatric Centers. He is member of the editorial board – Annals of Clinical Psychiatry and member of the Board of Director at the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatry. Dr. Apter has conducted and continues to conduct several cutting edge psychiatric clinical trials.