Moussa B.H. Youdim, PhD
PhD, 1967 - McGill University
Study of the neuroprotective/neurorestorative mechanism of action of novel multi-modal drugs for Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are severe progressive neurodegenerative disorders, and there are no currently approved drugs to prevent neuronal cell loss at the brain sites that characterize these diseases. The exception may be the FDA-approved anti-Parkinson drug, rasagiline (trade name - Azilect) which our team has developed, and is thought to be the first neuroprotective and disease modifying therapy. Owing to the complex molecular cascade of neurotoxic events that is associated with the etiology of these disorders, where each event can initiate neuronal death, we have inaugurated an innovative approach towards therapy by designing multimodal drugs. These drugs target an array of neurotoxic pathological pathways that include targeting of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) to mitigate the production of misfolded neurotoxic proteins. As derivatives of Azilect and naturally occurring catechins, such drugs possess neuroprotective and neurorestorative activities, and restore UPS function in cellular and animal models of these disorders. Our work over the years has attracted international collaboration and recognition that include formal academic appointments as Distinguished Scientific Professor, Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea; Distinguished Chair Professor at Poly U and Hong Kong Universities, and Distinguished Honorary Professor at Shanghai and Qingdao Universities in China. All of these expand the international scope and reach of the research programs in our laboratory.
Schematic representation of the targets of multimodal drugs for treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Youdim, M. B. H., Van der Schyf, C. J. 2009. Multifunctional drugs as neurotherapeutics. Neurotherapeutics 6, 1-213.
Youdim, M. B. H., Edmondson, D., Tipton, K. F. 2006. The therapeutic potential of monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Nat Rev Neurosci 7, 295-309.
Youdim, M. B. H., Buccafusco, J. J. 2005. Multi-functional drugs for various CNS targets in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Trends Pharmacol Sci 26, 27-35.