The role of acetylcholinesterase in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Treatment of Alzheimer's disease has been dominated by the use of acetylcholinesterase (ACHE) inhibitors. These drugs compensate for the death of cholinergic neurons and offer symptomatic relief by inhibiting acetylcholine (ACh) turnover and restoring synaptic levels of this neurotransmitter. Recently, however, AChE itself has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. In particular, it appears that AChE may directly interact with amyloid-β in a manner that increases the deposition of this peptide into insoluble plaques. This new role suggests that properly designed AChE inhibitors might be able to act as disease-modifying agents rather than as mere palliatives. Additionally, numerous studies have suggested that cholinergic modulation and other functional consequences of AChE inhibition may affect amyloid precursor protein processing and protect neurons against a variety of insults. It therefore seems likely that new AChE inhibitors, which capitalize on all these strengths would be excellent candidates for future Alzheimer's disease therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalDrugs of Today
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

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Acetylcholinesterase
Alzheimer Disease
Cholinergic Neurons
Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
Cholinesterase Inhibitors
Amyloid
Cholinergic Agents
Acetylcholine
Neurotransmitter Agents
Neurons
Peptides
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology

Cite this

The role of acetylcholinesterase in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. / Rees, Tina M.; Brimijoin, William Stephen.

In: Drugs of Today, Vol. 39, No. 1, 01.01.2003, p. 75-83.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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