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An understanding of the basic pathophysiology and molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease is essential to effective treatment of the disease. Despite multiple hypotheses related to the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease, no unifying theory is currently available. Inflammation, oxidation stress, estrogen hormone status, pathways for production of Beta-amyloid 42, apolipoprotein E state, cholinergic neuron depletion, and head injury are all possible contributors and therefore provide points of intervention or potential intervention in the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease. Thus, this article reviews current therapeutic modalities, including estrogen replacement therapy, Ginkgo biloba, and the two cholinesterase inhibitors approved in the United States, tacrine and donepezil.
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