The treatment of Alzheimer’s disease remains a major challenge because of our incomplete understanding of the triggering events that lead to the selective neurodegeneration characteristic of Alzheimer’s brains. The rational design of a pharmacological intervention is therefore a great theoretical challenge.
One approach involves the study of the pharmacological modulation of the amyloid precursor protein metabolism, in which the goal is to reduce the formation of beta-amyloid in the hope of reducing the formation of a potentially neurotoxic peptide. Such an approach has led to the identification of a complex intracellular mechanism that can be regulated by neurotransmitters and other ligands.
Source: Trends Pharmacol Sci 1999 Oct;20(10):418-423
(Institute of Pharmacology, University of Pavia, Viale Taramelli 14 27100 Pavia, Italy.)