Old Drug, New Hope for Alzheimer's Disease

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Science  23 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6075, pp. 1447-1448
DOI: 10.1126/science.1220725

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Alzheimer's disease insidiously robs patients of the ability to remember, reason, and make informed judgments. Despite decades of research, no therapeutics are available that slow disease progression, and to date no “disease-modifying” drug has succeeded to show therapeutic benefit and to be safe. On page 1503 of this issue, Cramer et al. (1) show that a drug called bexarotene reverses the effects of neurodegeneration in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. The study provides new hope that decades of research examining the molecular and cellular pathways in Alzheimer's disease may soon yield disease-modifying therapies.