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Open Access Commentary

Potential repurposing of oncology drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Wataru Araki

Author Affiliations

Department of Demyelinating Disease and Aging, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8502, Japan

BMC Medicine 2013, 11:82  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-82

Published: 26 March 2013


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of neurodegenerative dementia, affecting about 30 million people worldwide. Despite recent advances in understanding its molecular pathology, no mechanism-based drugs are currently available that can halt the progression of AD. Because amyloid-β-peptide (Aβ), a primary component of senile plaques, is thought to be a central pathogenic culprit, several disease-modifying therapies are being developed, including inhibitors of Aβ-producing proteases and immunotherapies with anti-Aβ antibodies. Drug repositioning or repurposing is regarded as a complementary and reasonable approach to identify new drug candidates for AD. This commentary will discuss the clinical relevance of an attractive candidate compound reported in a recent paper by Hayes et al. (BMC Medicine 2013) as well as perspectives regarding the possible repositioning of oncology drugs for the treatment of AD.

See related research article here webcite

Alzheimer's disease; amyloid β-peptide; disease-modifying drugs; drug repositioning