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Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1568-0266
ISSN (Online): 1873-4294

The Multifactorial Nature of Alzheimer's Disease for Developing Potential Therapeutics

Author(s): M. Carmo Carreiras, Eduarda Mendes, M. Jesus Perry, Ana Paula Francisco and J. Marco-Contelles

Volume 13, Issue 15, 2013

Page: [1745 - 1770] Pages: 26

DOI: 10.2174/15680266113139990135


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a multifactorial neurodegenerative disorder with several target proteins contributing to its aetiology. Pathological, genetic, biochemical, and modeling studies all point to a critical role of Aβ aggregation in AD. Though there are still many enigmatic aspects of the Aβ cascade, none of the gaps invalidate the hypothesis. The amyloid hypothesis determines that the production, aggregation and accumulation of Aβ in the brain gives rise to a cascade of neurotoxic events that proceed to neuronal degeneration. Different targets of the disease include APP pathogenic cleavage, cytoskeletal destabilization, neurotransmitter and ion dyshomeostasis, metal ion accumulation, protein misfolding, oxidative stress, neuronal death and gene mutations. Thus, disease-modifying treatments for AD must interfere with the pathogenic steps responsible for the clinical symptoms: the deposition of extracellular Aβ plaques, the intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, inflammation, oxidative stress, iron deregulation, among others.

The observations supporting the development of multifunctional compounds in association with the perception that several dual binding site AChEIs were able to reach different targets guided the development of a new drug design strategy, the multi-target-directed-ligand (MTDL) approach. This may be regarded as the buildup of hybrid molecules composed of distinct pharmacophores of different drugs. Thus, each pharmacophore of the new hybrid drug would preserve the capacity of interacting with their specific sites on the targets and, therefore, generate multiple specific pharmacological responses which would enable the treatment of multi-factorial diseases. This review summarizes a few current therapeutic trends on MTDL strategy intended to halt or revert the progression of the disease.

Keywords: Aβ, Alzheimer's disease, Ca2+ dishomeostasis, ChEs, Dual AChE/BuChE inhibitors, MAO, metal chelators, oxidative stress.

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