Retinoids for treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Alan J. Lerner, Kasia Gustaw-Rothenberg, Shawn Smyth, Gemma Casadesus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives involved in cellular regulatory processes including cell differentiation, neurite outgrowth and defense against oxidative stress. Retinoids may also influence Amyloid beta processing upregulation of alpha secretase via ADAM10. Vitamin A and other retinoids also directly inhibit formation of Amyloid fibrils in vivo. These properties of retinoids are relevant to theories of Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. Retinoids are already used in treatment of acne vulgaris, psoriasis, neuroblastoma and acute promyelocytic leukemia. Clinical studies involving in cognitively impaired older adults with Alzheimer's disease are beginning with a variety of retinoids. These studies need to address safety issues of retinoids in older populations, and hold hope for demonstrating efficacy in translating these basic mechanisms to treatment of a widespread dementing illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-89
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • All-trans retinoic acid
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid
  • Retinoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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