I recommend this paper
This study on fibroblast growth factor effects in neurodegeneration is most interesting. The effects shown on neuroprotection, reduction of amyloid levels, and stem cell proliferation are indeed what other growth factors (GFs) such as BDNF or NGF have shown in the past. There are other beneficial effects of GFs, for example, enhanced synaptogenesis and a reduction of inflammation. We found very similar effects with GLP-1 analogues (a growth factor-like hormone). We also saw an increase in neurogenesis and a decrease of APP synthesis (McClean et al., 2011).
The drawback is that most growth factors do not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Gene therapy or implantation of cells that release the GFs do not appeal as a treatment for millions of AD sufferers.
The advantage of GLP-1 analogues are that they do cross the BBB, and can be injected peripherally. A clinical trial on the GLP-1 analogue exendin-4 is currently ongoing at the NIH/NIA. We are also planning a trial testing liraglutide, another GLP-1 analogue. The additional bonus is that both drugs are already on the...