Share this article:
Neuroprotection in Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. It is a progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory, thinking skills, and eventually, even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. It is characterized by death of synapses coupled to death nerve cells and brain degeneration, which is manifested by loss of cognitive abilities. Understanding neuroprotection in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) will pave the path to better disease management and novel therapeutics.
A search of the website, www.clinicaltrials.gov, using the words “neuroprotection” AND “Alzheimer” yielded seven results with four completed studies, of which, one has results. That study is entitled “Effects of Memantine on Magnetic Resonance (MR) Spectroscopy in Subjects at Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Rather than concentrating on amyloid and tau, the study highlights the marked cell damage that precedes the clinical manifestation of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and suggests that targeting populations at risk with pharmacological interventions is a possible strategy to lessen the burden of the disease.
The study population included cognitively normal individuals with subjective memory complaints with biological characteristics of early AD and family history of AD. The primary outcome of the study was change in N-acetylaspartate (NAA) measured with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). NAA is a metabolite found predominately in neuronal cells, and its amount indicates tissue well-being (the higher the better). In MRS studies, NAA (and other metabolites like choline) are presented as a ratio to creatine (Cr, internal standard) also measured by MRS. Participants took the drug once daily for 4 months. No significant change was reported. Two other studies are in their initial stages, one with low dose nicotine and one with lithium; importantly, these avenues have been previously explored, but the question is, how early should one begin?
In my book, Neuroprotection in Alzheimer’s Disease, I selected expert international scientists to give their point of view of Alzheimer’s neuroprotection, mostly from the preclinical point of view, but touching on clinical trials as well. Starting from an overview through animal models and personal prisms of interest, we travel down the path of AD neuroprotection.
Advanced graduate students, researchers, and clinicians in the fields of neurodegeneration, neuroscience, neurology, and neuropharmacology will find the information in the book useful.
About the Author
Professor Illana Gozes is the incumbent of the Lily and Avraham Gildor Chair for the Investigation of Growth Factors, Head of the Elton Laboratory for Molecular Neuroendocrinology at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and a member of TAU’s Adams Super Center for Brain Studies and the Sagol School of Neuroscience. You can read more via an article called “NAP blocks formation of “tangles” that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease” here.
We are pleased to provide a look at the book with this complimentary chapter download called “Neuroprotective Drug Development: The Story of ADNP, NAP (Davunetide), and SKIP.”
If you would like to view additional chapters, visit ScienceDirect. If you would like to purchase a print or e-copy of the book, visit the Elsevier Store. Apply discount code STC317 at checkout to receive 30% off the list price and free global shipping.
The scientific study of the nervous system is entering a new golden age. Researchers and clinicians continue to advance the treatment of conditions such as Alzheimer’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury. Public initiatives like the federal Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) program in the United States, announced in April 2013, ensure that funding and resources will continue to be applied to this rapidly growing field. Elsevier’s journals, books, eBooks, online references, and tools are respected around the world for everything from physiology and pathology to behavioral genetics and nerve repair. Our publications are a gateway to the latest advancements in neuroscience research and leading-edge data for professionals, students, and academics alike.