Pathology and Pathways of Alzheimer's Disease with an Update on New Developments in Treatment


Address correspondence to Steven T. DeKosky, MD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh, 3471 Fifth Avenue, Suite 811, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. E-mail:


As our understanding of the complex pathology of Alzheimer's disease improves, more targets for therapy emerge. These include the actions of beta amyloid, the inflammatory cascade, pathobiology of tau proteins' conversion to neurofibrillary tangles, oxidative neuronal damage, and neurotransmitter depletion. Many agents now under investigation target the early stages of the disease process, aiming to prevent or slow the development of symptoms. This article reviews the current understanding of the course and pathology of Alzheimer's disease as it relates to emerging therapies, then summarizes some promising current research directions in primary prevention, secondary prevention, and treatment.