Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia that has remained a major medical, sociocultural and economical challenge globally. Previously developed treatments like anticholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonists only provide short-term symptomatic improvement and do not prevent progression. Repeated setbacks and failures over the past 25 years in AD clinical trials have hindered efforts to develop effective AD treatments. Fortunately, Aducanumab, a specific anti-amyloid β antibody, has shown promising clinical results and was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through an accelerated approval pathway. This has raised hopes for AD patients; however post-approval trials are necessary to estimate the true scope of its clinical benefits. We have reviewed several AD clinical studies and summarized the experience to date with Aducanumab and two other potential AD drugs including Zagotenemab (an anti-tau antibody) and Pioglitazone (nuclear Peroxisome-Proliferator Activated Receptor γ (PPARγ) agonist). These have shown mixed results so far and the next few years will be critical to elucidate and interpret their broad long-term protective effects. A concerted effort is required to understand and strengthen the translation of pre-clinical findings from these drugs to routine clinical practice.
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- Alzheimer's disease