Alzheimer's disease remains a challenge in management. With nearly 8 million sufferers from this condition in the seven major markets of the world and anticipated increases in the future.
Considerable research is in progress to understand the pathomechanism of the disease and find a cure. The only drugs approved currently are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors but they do not correct the basic pathology of the disease, beta amyloid deposits and neurofibrillary tangles. Several new approaches emphasize neuroprotection as well.
Research in Alzheimer's disease still aims at elucidating the basic pathomechanisms. Animal models are important for research, particularly in testing some of the potential therapeutic approaches. There is considerable research in progress at the various centers, some of which is funded by the National Institute of Aging of the National Institutes of Health.
Over 300 different compounds are at various stages of development for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. These are classified and described. There are non-pharmacological approaches such as vagal nerve stimulation and cerebrospinal fluid shunting, which are in clinical trials. Approximately 180 clinical trials are listed, of which 126 are still in progress and 54 were discontinued for various reasons.
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