The cognition-enhancing effects of a particular drug may offer only symptomatic relief against AD. These effects need to be considered separately from other possible neuroprotective/neurorestorative effects. Compounds that exhibit the latter characteristics are designed to alter the progression and course of the disease by improving brain function by facilitating recovery or preventing neuronal cell loss. A notable example is P7C3, a 5-HT6 receptor agonist, has been shown to promote neurogenesis within a couple of days in mice models. Theoretically, the neuroprotective benefits of this compound would be able to promote neuronal genesis in human models as well. Other serotonin receptors influence memory in different ways for instance, the 5-HT4 receptors has a possible link in influencing the regulation of non-amyloidogenic soluble amyloid-beta precursor protein (sAPP) and also plays a role in modifying acetylcholine transmission.(10 on reference page on google docs).
The significance of serotonergic receptor modulation in a clinical setting remains controversial. Most of the evidence which supports this theory comes from data gathered in pre-clinical models. Many of the ligands that have been recently developed are still in the preliminary phases of testing. Another argument for the benefits of targeting the serotonergic system comes from clinical evidence. Some unconventional antipsychotic drugs that affect the serotonergic system, has been shown to increase and improve cognition in patients with schizophrenia. (11 on reference page on google docs) With all these factors in mind, these studies and findings point to potential therapies that may arise from a better understanding of the serotonergic system and cognition.
Pathology of AD
Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that becomes progressively worse over time. One of the major symptoms of AD is the increasing inability of patients to process short-term memory efficaciously and an inability to consolidate and acquire new memories. The inability to form new memories extends to all of the senses and includes the difficulty to recall any recently observed or learned facts. As the disease progresses, caretakers are eventually required as the patients become more dependent on them for normal functioning, and this dependency eventually reaches a state where the patient is unable to effectively take care of themselves. The biggest risk factor for AD is age and most of the observed cases are people who are aged 65 years or older. The chance of getting Alzheimer’s increases significantly as a person ages, and a higher incidence of Alzheimer’s is reported in elderly patients. Genetics has been observed to play a role as a risk factor of AD. People who carry the...