April 7, 2010
Potential New Alzheimer’s Drugs Advancing In Clinical Trials
After years of preparation and anticipation, scientists who discover and develop new medications are about to answer a key question about Alzheimer's disease: Will drugs that block formation of abnormal clumps of protein in the brain called amyloid-beta slow the progression of the devastating disease? The cover story in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine, assesses the scientific foundation and clinical landscape of those amyloid-beta blockers.
C&EN Senior Editor Lisa Jarvis notes that amyloid-beta is at the heart of a central hypothesis "” and simmering controversy "” about Alzheimer's disease. Some scientists are convinced that amyloid-beta is the root cause of the nerve-cell death and subsequent mental decline in individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Others think that something else, perhaps a still-unidentified environmental neurotoxin, is the real culprit. That mystery agent, they suspect, triggers formation of beta-amyloid.
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