Dementia is increasingly being recognized as one of the most important medical problems in the elderly. As most pharmacological research within the field of dementia is focused on Alzheimer's dementia (AD), this review will focus on pharmacological interventions in AD. Most disease-modifying therapies are based on the amyloid hypothesis. In this hypothesis, the pathological accumulation of Aβ in the brain leads to oxidative stress, neuronal destruction and finally the clinical syndrome of AD. Following this hypothesis, secondary prevention of AD can be made by: decreasing the production of Aβ, stimulation of clearance of Aβ formed or prevention of aggregation of Aβ into amyloid plaques. First a short overview on current approved therapies for AD is given. The main part of the review will focus on potential disease-modifying therapies for AD that are currently being studied in phase I to phase III trials.