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1.  Overcoming obstacles to repurposing for neurodegenerative disease 
Repurposing Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs for a new indication may offer an accelerated pathway for new treatments to patients but is also fraught with significant commercial, regulatory, and reimbursement challenges. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) convened an advisory panel in October 2013 to understand stakeholder perspectives related to repurposing FDA-approved drugs for neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we present opportunities on how philanthropy, industry, and government can begin to address these challenges, promote policy changes, and develop targeted funding strategies to accelerate the potential of FDA-approved repurposed drugs.
PMCID: PMC4184781  PMID: 25356422
2.  Meeting the unique challenges of drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases 
BMC Neurology  2009;9(Suppl 1):I1.
PMCID: PMC2697628  PMID: 19534729
3.  Progress in novel cognitive enhancers for cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease 
Increased knowledge of the biology of synaptic function has led to the development of novel cognitive-enhancing therapeutic strategies with the potential for increased efficacy and safety. This editorial highlights a diverse array of approaches currently being explored to target cognitive dysfunction due to aging and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
PMCID: PMC3979029  PMID: 24083622
4.  Diverse therapeutic targets and biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias: report on the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation 2012 International Conference on Alzheimer's Drug Discovery 
The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation's 13th International Conference on Alzheimer's Drug Discovery was held on 10-11 September 2012 in Jersey City, NJ, USA. This meeting report provides an overview of Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation-funded programs, ranging from novel biomarkers to accelerate clinical development to drug-discovery programs with a focus on targets related to neuroprotection, mitochondrial function, apolipoprotein E and vascular biology.
PMCID: PMC3580332  PMID: 23374760
5.  Beyond amyloid: a diverse portfolio of novel drug discovery programs for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias 
Although the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and other related neurodegenerative diseases remain unclear, accumulation of misfolded proteins, neuroinflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction and perturbed calcium homeostasis have been identified as key events leading to neuronal loss during neurodegeneration. Evidence for 'druggable' targets for each of these key mechanisms was presented by the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation-funded investigators at the 12th International Conference on Alzheimer's Drug Discovery, Jersey City, NJ, 26-27 September 2011
PMCID: PMC3308025  PMID: 22236739
6.  Accelerating drug discovery for Alzheimer's disease: best practices for preclinical animal studies 
Animal models have contributed significantly to our understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). As a result, over 300 interventions have been investigated and reported to mitigate pathological phenotypes or improve behavior in AD animal models or both. To date, however, very few of these findings have resulted in target validation in humans or successful translation to disease-modifying therapies. Challenges in translating preclinical studies to clinical trials include the inability of animal models to recapitulate the human disease, variations in breeding and colony maintenance, lack of standards in design, conduct and analysis of animal trials, and publication bias due to under-reporting of negative results in the scientific literature. The quality of animal model research on novel therapeutics can be improved by bringing the rigor of human clinical trials to animal studies. Research communities in several disease areas have developed recommendations for the conduct and reporting of preclinical studies in order to increase their validity, reproducibility, and predictive value. To address these issues in the AD community, the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation partnered with Charles River Discovery Services (Morrisville, NC, USA) and Cerebricon Ltd. (Kuopio, Finland) to convene an expert advisory panel of academic, industry, and government scientists to make recommendations on best practices for animal studies testing investigational AD therapies. The panel produced recommendations regarding the measurement, analysis, and reporting of relevant AD targets, th choice of animal model, quality control measures for breeding and colony maintenance, and preclinical animal study design. Major considerations to incorporate into preclinical study design include a priori hypotheses, pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics studies prior to proof-of-concept testing, biomarker measurements, sample size determination, and power analysis. The panel also recommended distinguishing between pilot 'exploratory' animal studies and more extensive 'therapeutic' studies to guide interpretation. Finally, the panel proposed infrastructure and resource development, such as the establishment of a public data repository in which both positive animal studies and negative ones could be reported. By promoting best practices, these recommendations can improve the methodological quality and predictive value of AD animal studies and make the translation to human clinical trials more efficient and reliable.
PMCID: PMC3218805  PMID: 21943025
7.  A diverse portfolio of novel drug discovery efforts for Alzheimer's disease: Meeting report from the 11th International Conference on Alzheimer's Drug Discovery, 27-28 September 2010, Jersey City, NJ, USA 
While Alzheimer's disease researchers continue to debate the underlying cause(s) of the disease, most agree that a diverse, multi-target approach to treatment will be necessary. To this end, the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) recently hosted the 11th International Conference on Alzheimer's Drug Discovery to highlight the array of exciting efforts from the ADDF's funded investigators.
PMCID: PMC3031879  PMID: 21159211
8.  Therapeutics for cognitive aging 
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences  2010;1191(Suppl 1):E1-15.
This review summarizes the scientific talks presented at the conference “Therapeutics for Cognitive Aging,” hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation on May 15, 2009. Attended by scientists from industry and academia, as well as by a number of lay people—approximately 200 in all—the conference specifically tackled the many aspects of developing therapeutic interventions for cognitive impairment. Discussion also focused on how to define cognitive aging and whether it should be considered a treatable, tractable disease.
PMCID: PMC3107251  PMID: 20392284
9.  Constitutively Active Akt Inhibits Trafficking of Amyloid Precursor Protein and Amyloid Precursor Protein Metabolites through Feedback Inhibition of Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase† 
Biochemistry  2009;48(17):3787-3794.
Amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, generated through sequential proteolytic cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP), aggregate to form amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Understanding the regulation of Aβ generation and cellular secretion is critical to our understanding of AD pathophysiology. In the present study, we examined the role of the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling pathway in regulating APP trafficking and Aβ secretion. Previous studies have demonstrated that insulin or IGF-1 stimulation can increase Aβ and APP secretion in a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) dependent manner. To expand upon these studies and better understand the molecular targets responsible for alterations in APP secretion, we constitutively activated Akt, a downstream component of the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway. Counterintuitively, constitutively active Akt (myr-Akt) overexpression produced an opposite effect to insulin/IGF-1 stimulation and inhibited secretion of APP and APP metabolites in multiple cell lines. Myr-Akt overexpression also resulted in increased APP protein stability. Since the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway is tightly regulated by feedback inhibition pathways, we hypothesized that myr-Akt overexpression may be inducing feedback inhibition of PI3K, resulting in impaired APP trafficking. In support of this hypothesis, myr-Akt acted at a known node of PI3K inhibition and decreased insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) protein levels. Our studies provide further support for PI3K as a modulator of APP trafficking and demonstrate that overactivation of the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway may result in feedback inhibition of PI3K through IRS1 and reduce APP trafficking and Aβ secretion.
PMCID: PMC3021459  PMID: 19236051
10.  Novel strategies for the prevention of dementia from Alzheimer's disease 
As the world's population continues to age, Alzheimer's disease presents a homing public health crisis that left unchecked, threatens to overwhelm health care systems throughout the developed world, in order to significantly tackle the most catastrophic and devastating symptom of Alzheimer's disease (AD)-dementia-we must be able to detect the disease prior to the onset of clinical symptoms, and be able to offer patients preventative treatments that block or significantly slow disease progression. This review summarizes a variety of the most promising early detection methods for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) that could be used to identify those at high risk of developing the disease and used for monitoring disease progression and response to investigational treatments, in addition, treatment research programs that could be developed into disease-modifying treatments that significantly delay the development of dementia are highlighted. These potential treatments target many different pathways, and may one day be dosed in combination to increase efficacy and prevent cognitive deterioration in patients with AD. While we still face numerous challenges, AD researchers have made great progress in understanding disease mechanisms. As we have seen in the treatment of heart disease, even modest preventative treatments can have hugely significant clinical outcomes and drastically reduce disease prevalence on a population scale. Therefore, there is hope that the development of prophylactic treatments, combined with improved early detection methods, will provide dramatic relief for millions of aging individuals threatened by the specter of Alzheimer's disease.
PMCID: PMC3181917  PMID: 19585948
Alzheimer's disease; mild cognitive impairment; biomarker; amyloid-β; neuroimaging
11.  Role for Akt3/Protein Kinase Bγ in Attainment of Normal Brain Size 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2005;25(5):1869-1878.
Studies of Drosophila and mammals have revealed the importance of insulin signaling through phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and the serine/threonine kinase Akt/protein kinase B for the regulation of cell, organ, and organismal growth. In mammals, three highly conserved proteins, Akt1, Akt2, and Akt3, comprise the Akt family, of which the first two are required for normal growth and metabolism, respectively. Here we address the function of Akt3. Like Akt1, Akt3 is not required for the maintenance of normal carbohydrate metabolism but is essential for the attainment of normal organ size. However, in contrast to Akt1−/− mice, which display a proportional decrease in the sizes of all organs, Akt3−/− mice present a selective 20% decrease in brain size. Moreover, although Akt1- and Akt3-deficient brains are reduced in size to approximately the same degree, the absence of Akt1 leads to a reduction in cell number, whereas the lack of Akt3 results in smaller and fewer cells. Finally, mammalian target of rapamycin signaling is attenuated in the brains of Akt3−/− but not Akt1−/− mice, suggesting that differential regulation of this pathway contributes to an isoform-specific regulation of cell growth.
PMCID: PMC549378  PMID: 15713641

Results 1-11 (11)