An Overview of the Current and Novel Drugs for Alzheimer's Disease with Particular Reference to Anti-Cholinesterase Compounds

Colombres, Marcela; Sagal, Juan Paulo; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.
September 2004
Current Pharmaceutical Design;Oct2004, Vol. 10 Issue 25, p3121
Academic Journal
Several cellular processes could be targeted if the complex nature of Alzheimer' s disease (AD) was already understood. Most of AD treatments have been focused on the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in order to raise the levels of its substrate, i.e. the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh), to augment cognitive functions of affected patients. Effectiveness in AChE inhibition and side-effect issues of clinical (tacrine, donepezil, galanthamine and rivastigmine) as well as of novel inhibitors is reviewed here. Novel design methods for the inhibition of AChE include the use of in silico tools to predict the interactions between AChE and the desired compound, both at the active site of the enzyme, responsible of hydroly sing ACh and with the peripheral anionic site (PAS), which has been described as a promoting agent of the amyloid �-peptide (A�) aggregation present in the senile plaques of the brain of AD individuals.


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