Toward that end, researchers have dug deep inside nerve cells to unravel the chain of events through which statin drugs interact with beta amyloid. They have learned that statins activate the good pathway of amyloid processing, stimulating the production of harmless amyloid at the expense of the toxic form. Now they are screening other related compounds to identify any that may have similar effects and testing them in an animal model of Alzheimer's.
If we can identify other compounds that also activate the good pathway without unacceptable side effects, such drugs may -- either by themselves or in combination with statins -- effectively lower a-beta deposition. This would be a highly novel approach to treating or possibly preventing Alzheimer's.