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Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 44;

Old Drugs as New Treatments for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Laboratory of Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Department of Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
CIIMAR, Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões, Avenida General Norton de Matos P, 4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Old Pharmaceuticals with New Applications)
PDF [3114 KB, uploaded 11 May 2018]


Neurodegenerative diseases are increasing in number, given that the general global population is becoming older. They manifest themselves through mechanisms that are not fully understood, in many cases, and impair memory, cognition and movement. Currently, no neurodegenerative disease is curable, and the treatments available only manage the symptoms or halt the progression of the disease. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new treatments for this kind of disease, since the World Health Organization has predicted that neurodegenerative diseases affecting motor function will become the second-most prevalent cause of death in the next 20 years. New therapies can come from three main sources: synthesis, natural products, and existing drugs. This last source is known as drug repurposing, which is the most advantageous, since the drug’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles are already established, and the investment put into this strategy is not as significant as for the classic development of new drugs. There have been several studies on the potential of old drugs for the most relevant neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. View Full-Text
Keywords: neurodegenerative diseases; drug repurposing; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; Huntington’s disease; multiple sclerosis; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis neurodegenerative diseases; drug repurposing; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; Huntington’s disease; multiple sclerosis; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Durães, F.; Pinto, M.; Sousa, E. Old Drugs as New Treatments for Neurodegenerative Diseases. Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11, 44.

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