The scientific field of neurodegenerative dementias has made significant progress over the last two decades. The diagnosis for these progressive neurodegenerative diseases is increasingly shifting from syndromal, based on signs and symptoms, to a biological construct based on the pathological hallmarks. For Alzheimer's disease (AD) it is amyloid β deposition, pathologic tau, neurodegeneration, and it is expected that analysis of alfa-synuclein (e.g. by aggregating assays) can contribute to an accurate diagnosis and to define progression and treatment effects. Furthermore, numerous genetic risk factors have been identified providing further insight into the pathways underpinning dementias.
Analogous to this significant progress in making an accurate diagnosis and a better understanding in dementia disorders, the drug development landscape for disease modifying therapies also grows. Especially in AD, amyloid-targeting therapies are now showing potential, while it is clear that multitarget interventions are probably needed to better silence these diseases. Moreover, drugs against targets that play a key role in several neurodegenerative diseases can be applied across diseases.